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Governor tests positive for coronavirus

In a tableau worthy of “The Masque of the Red Death,” the coronavirus struck both the highest and the lowest in Carson City on Friday the 13th.

A routine rapid test revealed Gov. Steve Sisolak was positive for the coronavirus on Friday. Sisolak also received a diagnostic PCR test and those results are pending at this time.  

Also on Friday, the Nevada Department of Corrections reported that an additional 331 inmates at Warm Springs Correctional Center in Carson City have tested positive for the virus.

All 525 Warm Springs inmates were tested last week after 93 offenders returned positive results on Nov. 5. This brings the total positive cases there to 424 offenders. An additional 18 staff members also tested positive, bringing the staff total to 25. 

Sisolak said he is not experiencing any symptoms, though earlier in the week he said he was feeling fatigue, though he attributed that to his schedule. 

“It was important to me to notify Nevadans as soon as possible of my positive COVID-19 test results,” he said. “I have returned to my residence to begin the quarantine and isolation process.”

Sisolak participated in a disease investigation interview with Carson City Health and Human Services.

He urged Nevadans to stay at home as much as they can. 

There were more than 1,800 new cases identified in Nevada yesterday and cases are growing at a rate of 1.3 percent or, 1,402 new cases per day.

Including the governor, the capital has seen 1,036 cases of the virus with 216 active since the outbreak began in March. Of the total, 809 people have recovered and 11 have died.

Douglas County had 34 active cases as of Friday evening, up from 27 on Thursday. The county has had 437 recoveries and two deaths since the outbreak began in March, according to Carson City Health and Human Services.

Following advice issued by the Centers for Disease Control and state guidelines, Sisolak will isolate and continue to monitor his symptoms. Warm Springs Correctional Center remains in lockdown. Meals are being delivered to each unit. 

Prior to Friday’s test, Sisolak received negative results on all previous tests – including his last two regular tests conducted on Nov. 2 and Nov. 6. 

Officials said formal contact tracing efforts are underway to ensure all close contacts are notified and informed of next steps in accordance with public health guidelines. 

All public events have been canceled at this time. The governor remains in constant contact with his staff and his cabinet and will continue continue remotely. 

Sisolak was last in the Carson City office on Thursday. All of his staff in that office are working at home as of today.

Any staff members deemed close contacts through the contact tracing process will remain in quarantine for the full period in compliance with CDC guidelines and must receive a negative test result before returning to the office upon completion of their full quarantine period.  

All relevant staff members will continue to self-monitor for symptoms and quarantine at this time – including staying at home and separating themselves from others, in accordance with public health guidelines. Those staffers will be working from home and are able to conduct their regular business during this time. 

Next in line, Lt. Gov. Kate Marshall said she has been in contact with the governor’s office.

“I am pleased to hear that the Governor is in good health and is not experiencing any symptoms,” Marshall said. “I am ready and prepared to assist as necessary, and will continue to be in regular contact with the Governor and his staff throughout this time. My family, my office and I send all our support to the Governor and his family.”