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Close COVID contact: Pritzker to work remotely after more than 15 minutes near state worker who tested positive

The exposure in Chicago happened as state lawmakers convene in Springfield for a legislative session that has already been shortened due to the statewide surge in coronavirus cases.

Gov. J.B. Pritzker adjusts his mask at an August 2021 news conference. The governor had close contact with a state worker who tested positive for COVID-19 Tuedsay.
Gov. J.B. Pritzker adjusts his mask at an August 2021 news conference. The governor had close contact with a state worker who tested positive for COVID-19 Tuedsay.
Ashlee Rezin/Sun-Times

Gov. J.B. Pritzker will work remotely “out of an abundance of caution” after a close contact with a state worker who tested positive for COVID-19, the governor’s office announced Wednesday.

Pritzker, who is fully vaccinated and boosted, tested negative for the virus Wednesday morning and has felt fine since being around the infected worker for more than 15 minutes Tuesday at the governor’s Chicago office, Pritzker spokeswoman Jordan Abudayyeh said.

The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention doesn’t require a quarantine period for boosted individuals after a close contact, but experts “recommend limiting contact after exposure if possible.”

“With the Omicron variant spreading across the state, the governor is taking extra precautions to prevent the spread of the virus,” Pritzker’s office said.

Illinois Gov. J.B. Pritzker speaks during a news briefing from his home in May of 2020 after a member of his senior staff has tested positive for COVID-19.
Illinois Gov. J.B. Pritzker speaks during a news briefing from his home in May of 2020 after a member of his senior staff has tested positive for COVID-19.
Provided

The governor will take meetings remotely through Sunday. The exposure happened as state lawmakers convene in Springfield for a legislative session that has already been shortened due to the statewide surge in COVID-19 cases.

More people are testing positive each day across Illinois than at any other point of the pandemic. The state set another record with more than 32,000 new cases announced Wednesday.

Pritzker has isolated several times throughout the pandemic after exposures, but has not come down with the virus himself.

Almost a quarter of eligible Illinois residents are still unvaccinated. For help finding a shot, visit vaccines.gov.