Illinois governor, staff to quarantine after aide tests positive for coronavirus

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Illinois Gov. J.B. Pritzker and his staffers are working from home in self-quarantine after a member of the governor's senior staff tested positive for coronavirus.

The staffer was asymptomatic and tested positive late last week. The staffer was in close contact with Pritzker and other staff members, the governor’s office said in a release Monday.

PRITZKER'S RELIGIOUS FREEDOM ADD-ON MAKES STAY-AT-HOME ORDER CONSTITUTIONAL, FEDERAL JUDGE SAYS 

The governor and all staffers subsequently tested negative.

Pritzker and approximately 20 staff members have regularly been working from the James R. Thompson Center in Chicago. Staff members have been following strict safety protocols, including daily temperature checks, wearing face coverings and social distancing. All staff members met at least once a day but wore face coverings during the meetings.

Pritzker will now be live-streaming his daily briefings at 2:30 p.m. from his home without any staffers. Dr. Ngozi Ezike, the head of the Illinois Department of Public Health (IDPH), will also join via video chat.

“The governor and staff will return to the office when IDPH deems appropriate,” the governor’s office said.

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Pritzker announced a stay-at-home order for Illinois on March 21, which lasts until May 29. Beginning May 1 the governor loosened some restrictions, allowing outdoor recreation and non-life-threatening surgeries and allowing non-essential retail to open for pickup or delivery.

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Illinois's health department has reported more than 77,700 COVID-19 cases and roughly 3,400 deaths from the virus.