About the time they were deciding yesterday what new mitigation efforts would be required for Winnebago and surrounding counties, Governor Pritzker's staff had their own COVID-related problem to deal with.

That problem, according to published reports, is that a yet-unidentified staff member, who had been traveling with the governor, tested positive for COVID-19. The staff member was with Pritzker at events last week in Chicago, Marion, and Marseilles. The staff member and Pritzker wore masks during the "entirety" of their visits, according to the governor's office.

Well, masked or not, that staff member began showing symptoms on Monday and took a COVID test later in the day. That test came back positive.

The announcement later in the day said that Governor Pritzker and an "unspecified number" of staff members would be quarantining themselves for the next two weeks.

It's certainly not unusual for a governor or member of a governor's staff to contract COVID-19, as we've seen over the last week.

Missouri's governor, Mike Parson and his wife both tested positive for the coronavirus in the last few days, as has Virginia's governor, Ralph Northam and his wife. Oklahoma governor Kevin Stitt has the dubious honor of being the first U.S. governor to test positive back in July.

In August, Ohio governor Mike DeWine announced that a rapid test was positive. But a short time later, DeWine said a more sensitive test was negative.

Here in Illinois, although statewide numbers dipped slightly Tuesday to 3.6%, our region of the state was put under new restrictions after the seven-day average rate of positive test results increased to 8.3%. Restaurants and bars will no longer be allowed to serve customers indoors and gatherings will be limited to 25 people or 25% of capacity.


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