Illinois Attorney General Tests Positive for Covid-19 (1)

June 16, 2020, 9:11 PM

Illinois Attorney General Kwame Raoul said Tuesday that he had tested positive for Covid-19 and has been self-isolating since the onset of his symptoms.

Raoul, Illinois’s highest-ranking statewide official to announce he’s tested positive for the virus, consulted with his health care provider via telehealth services after “experiencing minor symptoms over the weekend,” the attorney general, 55, said in an emailed statement. Raoul said his symptoms continue to be mild and that his office was in the process of notifying individuals with whom he may have come into contact.

He participated in the South Suburban Day of Action on June 6 in Calumet City and a personal protective equipment giveaway event on June 13 at the Edward G. Irvin Foundation, according to Annie Thompson, his spokesperson. Raoul wore a mask at both sites, and event organizers have been notified so individuals who came into contact with him can reach out to medical providers and self-quarantine, she said.

Illinois Governor J.B. Pritzker attended the June 6 event with Raoul, Jordan Abudayyeh, a spokesperson for the governor, said in an email. Pritzker in May had self-isolated for two weeks after a staffer tested positive for Covid-19.

“The governor always wears a mask and will be tested again today after attending a march and other public events,” Abudayyeh said. “The Governor spoke to the attorney general today to wish him a speedy recovery.”

Thompson said that a handful of individuals who have worked in Raoul’s vicinity in the attorney general’s downtown Chicago office have also been advised so they can contact their health-care providers and self-quarantine for 14 days. The vast majority of Raoul’s meetings and events have been conducted using video technology, but the attorney general’s offices statewide are open during the pandemic with reduced staff in the office and some working at home.

Illinois on Tuesday reported 623 new cases of coronavirus including 72 additional deaths. That brings the total statewide to 133,639 cases and 6,398 deaths. While hundreds of new cases are popping up, the rate of growth has slowed and 3% of tests are positive compared to 15% a month ago, according to Illinois Department of Public Health data released on Tuesday.

“Although the number of confirmed cases of Covid-19 in Illinois is decreasing, I urge people to follow guidance from public health officials by staying at least six feet away from others, wearing a face mask when around others, and washing your hands often,” Raoul said in a statement. “I am fortunate to be otherwise healthy and am following recommendations to protect those around me.”

(Updates with details on events AG attended in third paragraph)

To contact the reporters on this story:
Shruti Date Singh in Chicago at ssingh28@bloomberg.net;
Flynn McRoberts in Chicago at fmcroberts1@bloomberg.net

To contact the editors responsible for this story:
Elizabeth Campbell at ecampbell14@bloomberg.net

William Selway

© 2020 Bloomberg L.P. All rights reserved. Used with permission.

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