Michigan Gov. Whitmer Isolating After Husband Tests Positive for COVID-19

Michigan Gov. Whitmer Isolating After Husband Tests Positive for COVID-19
Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer speaks during a press conference in Ypsilanti, Mich., on April 12, 2021. (Lon Horwedel/Detroit News via AP)
Isabel van Brugen

Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer is isolating from her husband in their home after he tested positive for COVID-19.

Bobby Leddy, Whitmer’s spokesman, said the governor has had a negative rapid test result and was not experiencing any symptoms of COVID-19, the disease caused by the CCP (Chinese Communist Party) virus.

The Democratic governor, 50, was awaiting PCR lab test results out of an abundance of caution, Leddy said.

“Until the PCR test comes back, the governor is isolating in a separate area of the house and has taken steps to complete contact tracing to keep others safe. ... We wish the first gentleman a speedy recovery and hope he feels better soon,” he said.

Whitmer’s spokesman said they took extra precautions over the holidays to limit contact with others as they celebrated Christmas with immediate family members in Michigan.

Michigan, like much of the United States, is facing a surge in COVID-19 cases, largely fueled by the highly transmissible Omicron variant of the novel coronavirus. It seems to be causing lots of infections, but so far does not appear to be as severe in its effects.

Leddy said both Whitmer and her husband, Marc Mallory, are fully vaccinated and have both received their booster shots. Mallory, a retired dentist, took a COVID-19 test “after feeling under the weather,” Detroit News reported.

Whitmer is expected to deliver her annual State of the State address this month. Last year, on Jan. 27, the governor delivered the address remotely, saying a large gathering “would pose an unnecessary risk to the health of legislators, justices, staff, and guests.”

It isn’t yet clear whether this year’s address, Whitmer’s fourth, will be held remotely or in person.

On Dec. 31, the Michigan health department reversed course in announcing that it will adopt shorter federal COVID-19 isolation and quarantine guidelines, in line with recent recommendations from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).

“Notably,” the state health department said, “the CDC recommends a shortening of the quarantine and isolation duration for those who aren’t vaccinated or haven’t received their booster to five days followed by an additional five days of wearing a well-fitting mask around others.”

The department earlier said it needed time to review “the supporting evidence” before shortening existing guidelines.

New COVID-19 cases in the United States last week soared to their highest level on record, according to data kept by Johns Hopkins University. CDC Director Rochelle Walensky meanwhile told reporters that hospitalizations and deaths remain comparatively low as of now.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.