The governors of Missouri and Virginia have tested positive for the novel coronavirus, their offices announced this week. Republican Governor Mike Parson, who did not mandate face masks in his state of Missouri, said on Wednesday he had COVID-19. Democratic Governor Ralph Norton, who did mandate face masks in his state of Virginia, said on Friday he had contracted the virus.
Parson learned of his COVID-19 diagnoses on Wednesday after his wife, Teresa, tested from earlier in the day came back positive. Spokeswoman Kelli Jones said Parson’s wife had presented mild symptoms, that included a cough and nasal congestion, The Washington Post reported. The First Lady’s result were based on a rapid test and a nasal swab test. The governor is still waiting to get his swab test back.
Parson announced the results in a video posted on his Facebook page and gave his constituents and followers an update on his and his wife's health. “I want everybody to know that myself and the first lady are both fine,” he said.
“Right now I feel fine...no symptoms of any kind,” Parson said, CNN reported.
It is not clear how Parson and his wife contracted the virus. He is expected to stay in the governor’s mansion for the next 10 days.
Parsons told news station KSHB 41 in July that mask wearing would be a choice the residents of his state would need to make in order to protect themselves from the virus. “The whole thing is people are going to have to take that responsibility on themselves,” said Parson to the news outlet. “I’ve worn a mask when I’ve been asked to wear a mask. When there’s a requirement to wear a mask, I wear a mask. Am I going to be perfect about it? No.”
According to CNN, over the summer on a number of occasions, Parson shared photos via social media that suggested he was, in fact, not “perfect” about wearing a mask. The governor’s Twitter page shows him barbecuing, laughing and speaking during an event, all without wearing a mask.
Democratic Gov. Ralph Northam and his wife, Pamela Northam, also tested positive for COVID-19, his office announced Friday. Northam said he has been vigilant about the safety of the residents of his state since the pandemic crisis surfaced.
“COVID-19 is very real and very contagious,” he told the Washington Post. “The safety and health of our staff and close contacts is of utmost importance to Pam and me, and we are working closely with the Department of Health to ensure that everyone is well taken care of."
Northam is not experiencing any symptoms and his wife currently has mild symptoms. The couple will isolate over the next 10 days and the governor will continue to work from home, the Post reported.
The governor and the First Lady were notified Wednesday that a staff member who worked at their residence in the governor’s Manson was COVID-19 positive. The following day when they were given a PCR nasal swab test, both tested positive
“We are grateful for your thoughts and support, but the best thing you can do for us - and most important for your fellow Viginians - is to take this seriously,” Northam said.