State Watch

Iowa governor to follow ‘modified quarantine’ after Pence aide’s positive test

Iowa Gov. Kim Reynolds (R) will go into a “modified quarantine” for the next several days after a member of Vice President Pence’s staff tested positive for the coronavirus the day he visited the state.

Reynolds announced at a press conference that she would take precautions despite testing negative as recently as Monday morning. She was at the White House on Wednesday, and Pence visited Iowa on Friday.

“While I didn’t have direct contact with the vice president’s staff member, it’s important that I do my part to protect those around me while continuing to serve as your governor during this critical time,” Reynolds said. “I want to assure Iowans that I’m healthy and feeling good, and I’m fully focused on leading Iowa’s response to the pandemic on our economic recovery efforts.”

Iowa is one of several states moving to lift restrictions intended to slow the spread of the virus, which forced businesses to shutter and put millions of Americans out of work.

Reynolds said she will have her temperature taken when she arrives for work, be tested daily and practice social distancing and wear a mask when interacting with others.

Most of her staff will work from home during her modified quarantine, Reynolds said. 

The governor’s adjusted routine reflects how far a single positive coronavirus test at the White House has spiraled to affect those who interacted with Pence and his team.

Pence’s press secretary, Katie Miller, tested positive for the virus on Friday, the second member of Pence’s staff to do so and one of two positive cases found at the White House last week. 

Three of the government’s top health officials have since announced they are going into some form of self-quarantine after interacting with Miller in the days leading up to her positive test. 

Food and Drug Administration Administrator Stephen Hahn and Centers for Disease Control and Prevention Director Robert Redfield both intend to self-quarantine, according to spokespeople. Anthony Fauci, the top infectious diseases expert at the National Institutes of Health, said he will go into a “modified” self-quarantine.

All three are members of the White House coronavirus task force, which is led by Pence. Miller is said to have sat in on at least one of the group’s meetings last week.

Pence is working from the White House on Monday, but he is expected to take precautions while he is there to avoid extensive interactions with others. He is not scheduled to attend a press conference in the Rose Garden with the president on Monday afternoon.

Tags Anthony Fauci Coronavirus Donald Trump Iowa Katie Miller Kim Reynolds Mike Pence Quarantine self-quarantine

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