AUGUSTA, Maine — A member of Gov. Janet Mills’ security detail who had been experiencing coronavirus symptoms formally tested positive on Wednesday, and state officials are working on contact tracing while the governor quarantines.
Mills, a Democrat, announced late Tuesday that she was quarantining after a member of her security detail developed coronavirus symptoms. She confirmed during a Wednesday press briefing, in which she participated virtually from the Blaine House, that the member had since received a positive test result.
The governor said she plans to take a test on Thursday and will quarantine until Dec. 12. She said she and her staff followed all best public health practices, including mask wearing. Her office said Tuesday that she was likely exposed during a 10-minute car ride on Saturday when both she and her security detail were wearing masks. She said she had not had contact with that member of her detail in the few days before Saturday.
Nirav Shah, director of the Maine Center for Disease Control and Prevention, said Wednesday the agency had begun contact tracing with respect to the security team member who had tested positive but said that no other members of the governor’s detail had been required to quarantine.
Shah reiterated that only close contacts of the infected person would be required to quarantine under CDC guidelines, not close contacts of Mills, who has not tested positive for the virus and said she is not experiencing symptoms.
“Someone who has not been in direct close contact with a confirmed case of COVID-19 does not have to go into quarantine,” Shah said.
Mills said she had only met with a small group of individuals in recent days and no members of the Maine Legislature. She said none of her staffers had been required to quarantine. Her office did not respond to a request Wednesday morning for a schedule of events, places she visited and whom she might have seen over the past few days. Mills, however, said she has kept her circle of contacts small during the pandemic.
The governor was scheduled to swear in newly elected lawmakers on Wednesday at the Augusta Civic Center, but she canceled that appearance and addressed lawmakers virtually instead.
BDN writer Caitlin Andrews contributed to this report.