George Mason University is working with the Virginia Health Department to contact trace potential cases of coronavirus after the state’s governor tested positive for COVID-19 days after visiting the school.
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Gov. Ralph Northam announced Friday that he and his wife tested positive after someone working in their household developed symptoms then subsequently tested positive for coronavirus on Wednesday.
“The university was informed today that Governor Ralph Northam and First Lady Pamela Northam have tested positive for COVID, shortly after the Governor attended an event this week on our Fairfax campus,” the university said in a statement to Fox News on Friday.
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Northam toured a socially distanced classroom at the university on Tuesday and visited with several university officials and students as he announced a plan for higher education savings. The Democrat also visited a COVID-19 testing site at the university.
“The Governor was on campus for a short time on Tuesday, wore a mask during his entire visit and came into close contact with a very small group of individuals,” the school said.
The school also confirmed that health department officials were working on contacting all of the individuals who may have been exposed to the virus during that visit.
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University officials touted a record low positivity rate of COVID-19 on campus during Northam’s tour Tuesday, saying they’d identified just 11 infections after conducting 2,400 tests since the start of the semester in August.
The school said fewer than 30 members of its community of more than 50,000 students, faculty and staff have tested positive.
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“These results are the best for any large institution in Virginia and one of the best in the country, and they are proof that the decisions made up to this point were the right ones and a model for others to follow,” GMU President Gregory Washington wrote in a letter Tuesday.