Beshear to quarantine after guard tests positive for COVID

Published 10:48 am Monday, October 12, 2020

FRANKFORT, Ky. (AP) — Kentucky’s governor said Sunday that he will quarantine after a member of his security detail who drove with his family the day before later tested positive for COVID-19.

Democratic Gov. Andy Beshear said he and his family feel fine and show no coronavirus symptoms. Beshear’s wife and their two children also will quarantine.

Beshear’s family will be tested regularly for the virus, his office said. The governor and his wife, first lady Britainy Beshear, were last tested on Thursday, Beshear spokeswoman Crystal Staley said.

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In a social media video posted Sunday, Beshear said he’s committed to “setting an example” by quarantining after receiving a call from a contact tracer to alert his family of the possible exposure.

“So we’re doing what those tracers ask us and others to do,” he said. “We’re going to be quarantining until the (state) Department for Public Health says that we’ve completed what we need to.”

Beshear, who preaches the importance of following the advice of health experts to limit the virus’ spread, said that by going into quarantine he’s “walking the walk, not just talking the talk.”

Kentucky reported 7,675 new coronavirus cases in the past week, the highest weekly total during the pandemic. That included a backlog of cases from Fayette County, officials said Sunday.

Beshear recently extended his statewide mask mandate for another 30 days and promised stricter enforcement.

Beshear said his family was not in contact with anyone else following the exposure. The governor said his family and the state police trooper who accompanied his family all wore facial coverings.

“So thankfully there’s no additional exposure that’s out there, at least related to us,” Beshear said.

The federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the Kentucky Department for Public Health recommend quarantine if someone is within six feet — for more than 15 minutes — of a person who tested positive for COVID-19, Beshear said.

Beshear’s family will be tested regularly for the virus and will remain in quarantine until cleared by the state public health department, a statement from his office said.

The governor’s family is in quarantine together in a part of the governor’s mansion, and they are keeping away from staff, Staley said.

Beshear spoke from the governor’s mansion Sunday, his son Will at his side. He said they were in an “empty part” of the home, and his son wore a mask during the video. The governor said he plans to do his frequent coronavirus briefings from the mansion at least through the coming week.

“I’m still going to be doing my job, each and every day,” he said.

The quarantine will have an impact on Beshear’s schedule, but he is “committed to doing what so many other Kentuckians have had to do during COVID-19 — work from home full-time,” Staley said.

Beshear, who won election last year, is the son of former two-term Kentucky Gov. Steve Beshear.