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McMaster tests positive for COVID-19

Updated: Dec. 22, 2020 at 4:34 PM EST
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CHARLESTON, S.C. (WCSC) - Gov. Henry McMaster has tested positive for COVID-19, his office confirmed Tuesday.

McMaster received notification late Monday that he tested positive for the virus following routine testing following positive test results of his wife, Peggy late last week.

While Peggy McMaster remains asymptomatic, the governor is experiencing “mild symptoms with a cough and slight fatigue,” governor’s spokesman Brian Symmes said.

“Both remain in good spirits and Governor McMaster continues to work from the Governor’s Residence,” Symmes said.

Following Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and S.C. Department of Health and Environmental Control guidelines, the governor will isolate for the next 10 days and monitor for additional symptoms, Symmes said.

“Peggy and I urge everyone to be extra careful during the Christmas holiday season,” McMaster said in a statement. “This virus spreads very easily.”

Based on advice from his personal physician, McMaster will receive Monoclonal Antibody treatment Tuesday.

“The outpatient treatment is a preventive measure for those with mild to moderate symptoms and is readily available to the general public upon a physician’s order,” Symmes said.

According to DHEC physicians, there is no way to pinpoint precisely when or how the governor and the first lady contracted the virus.

According to CDC and SCDHEC guidelines, contact tracing is conducted for the 48 hours prior to the onset of symptoms or 48 hours prior to an eventual positive test being conducted.

The governor quarantined himself when he knew he was in close contact with the virus and sent Governor’s Residence staff home to quarantine and get tested to ensure their health and safety.

Because the governor followed the guidelines and recommendations as a “close contact,” SCDHEC has determined there are no “close contacts” to the governor, Symmes said.

Peggy McMaster was tested on Thursday and learned of the test result Friday morning, but at that time, the governor, who was also tested on Thursday, did not test positive, he said.

The McMasters tested negative on Monday prior to attending a White House Christmas event and on Dec. 10 prior to meeting with Vice President Mike Pence.

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