Governor in quarantine


SANTA FE — Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham announced Oct. 5 she is temporarily self-quarantined in Santa Fe after a possible exposure to COVID-19 in accordance with state Department of Health guidelines.

A custodial staff member of the governor’s residence reported feeling unwell in the afternoon Oct. 1, and was immediately sent for a COVID-19 test. The staff member – who wore a facemask at all times, had worked on the personal side of the governor’s residence but did not come into personal contact with the governor.

Lujan Grisham received a COVID-19 test Oct. 2. The result was negative. The governor showed no symptoms of COVID-19.

The governor’s fiancé, Manny Cordova, also tested negative and showed no symptoms of COVID-19.

The Governor’s Office and Department of Health determined 37 individuals – including all other residence staff members, the governor’s security detail and Governor’s Office and administration staff – were either at the governor’s residence or were potentially in the presence of the infected worker over the course of the week of Sept. 28. All of those individuals were tested between Oct. 2 and 4; all 37 received negative test results.

According to the N.M. Department of Health, close contacts of a COVID-19 positive individual without symptoms are encouraged to get tested for COVID-19.

The Department of Health stipulates that testing during the quarantine period does not end the quarantine period, as an individual may become infectious later in the quarantine period. The governor and other possible contacts received another COVID-19 test Oct. 7. The governor’s results came back negative.

“We have all seen how quickly COVID-19 can spread, not least in the high-profile example this week provided by the White House,” Lujan Grisham said. “Although we have had good fortune so far in this case, I am not willing to risk the health or safety of my staff or any New Mexican, and therefore I will continue to quarantine until such time as it can be determined with 100 percent certainty that I am not carrying the virus.

“Working remotely is not new to me or my staff, and we will not lose a beat over these next two weeks,” she added. “This should serve to demonstrate to New Mexicans that we are all susceptible to a possible exposure. We should all continue to act as if we are already positive and [as] if everyone around us is positive; it’s the best practice for ensuring the risk of infection to ourselves and those around us is minimized to the greatest extent possible.”.

The governor will quarantine at her residence in Santa Fe for at least two weeks from the date of her possible exposure, Oct. 1.

The governor’s day-to-day work schedule is unchanged.