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Gov. Steve Sisolak gives an update on the state's COVID-19 response at the Sawyer Building in Las Vegas on Thursday, Sept. 3, 2020. (Pool photo via Chase Stevens/Las Vegas Review-Journal) @csstevensphoto

Gov. Steve Sisolak announced Friday that he has tested positive for COVID-19.

Sisolak, in a call with reporters Friday afternoon, said that he tested positive in the course of undergoing routine testing for the virus and is not experiencing any symptoms. He received a positive result from a rapid test on Friday and is awaiting the results of a confirmatory molecular test.

Sisolak said that he returned to the governor’s mansion in Carson City upon receiving his positive test result and went through the disease investigation and review process with staff at Carson City Health and Human Services, who have recommended that he quarantine for 10 days. He plans to do so at the governor’s mansion.

Sisolak said it is “nearly impossible to pinpoint” where he contracted the virus, though all governor’s office staff and his close contacts are being notified through the appropriate contact tracing channels to take the necessary next steps advised by public health officials. 

He said that in addition to his usual routine of traveling from the governor’s mansion to his office in the Capitol, he had one “off-site visit” this week, to a ribbon cutting for the DMV office in Reno on Monday, and held a press conference on Tuesday.

“I’m feeling fine. I don't have any symptoms. I’m a little tired, but I've been tired since March when we started fighting COVID,” Sisolak told reporters Friday. “I think this just puts the spotlight on the fact that you can take all the precautions that are possible and you can still contract the virus, and I don't know how I got it, but we're going to quarantine and get through it.”

Sisolak is tested routinely for COVID-19, with his last two negative tests on Nov. 2 and 6.

The governor’s positive diagnosis comes as COVID-19 cases have been surging statewide, with a record 1,380 new cases reported on average each day over the last seven days. This week, Sisolak asked Nevadans to voluntarily limit their nonessential activities under what he’s calling “Stay at Home 2.0” and warned that if coronavirus trends in the state don’t improve within the next two weeks, he will be forced to impose new restrictions, though he has not yet said what those restrictions could look like.

As of Friday, 116,737 COVID-19 cases have been confirmed across the state.

“With this case, I want to underscore the importance of Nevadans to stay home as much as they possibly can at this time,” Sisolak said.  “We have to work together to get a handle on this virus.”

There have been two other positive cases of COVID-19 in the governor’s office in Carson City, including Caleb Cage, Nevada’s COVID-19 response director, who tested positive for the virus at the beginning of October. The governor’s office did not announce the name of the second individual, who tested positive earlier this month.

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