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Nevada governor tests positive for COVID-19, staff in isolation awaiting additional testing

These are photos of a news conference involving Nevada Gov. Steve Sisolak and the on-going COVID-19 pandemic as of Oct. 20, 2020
Posted at 9:54 PM, Nov 13, 2020
and last updated 2020-11-14 02:25:38-05

CARSON CITY (KTNV) — Nevada Gov. Steve Sisolak announced he tested positive for COVID-19 and now members of his Carson City staff are isolating at home while contact tracers work to notify others who may be considered 'close contacts' and need to take appropriate action.

Gov. Sisolak received a 'rapid' antigen test Friday as part of his normal testing regimen.

RELATED: Nevada Gov. Steve Sisolak tests positive for COVID-19

He was given a second test known as a PCR test and those results are pending.

"You can start with the rapid antigen test first but it needs to be confirmed with that PCR test because there is a potential for false positives with the antigen test," said Dr. Christina Madison of Roseman University.

Dr. Madison says the FDA came out with new recommendations in earlier this month indicating rapid tests should be confirmed by the more accurate PCR tests.

13 Investigates has learned the governor's communication director, Meghin Delaney, is considered a close contact and is quarantining pending test results.

RELATED: CORONAVIRUS: Nevada sets new record, 14.9% positivity rate

All of the governor's Carson City staff have been sent home and told to separate from others while the situation is sorted out.

Contact tracers are working to see who else may need to be tested and quarantined.

"When we look at when someone is infectious versus when they are infected, that's what we're thinking about when we start talking about the incubation period," Dr. Madison said.

She says people can spread the virus up to a couple of days before they start to show signs of COVID-19, which are similar to the flu.

Dr. Madison says more than half of people may not show any symptoms at all but are still capable of spreading the highly contagious virus.

13 Investigates has learned the governor was tested twice last week with both results coming back negative.

Since then, the governor provided an in-person news conference from Carson City on Tuesday when he urged Nevadans to voluntarily stay out of public for two weeks to slow the spread of COVID-19.

He called it "stay at home 2.0."

RELATED: Gov. Sisolak delivers dire warning for COVID-19 surge, urges operation 'Stay at Home 2.0'

"That is the tight rope to balance controlling COVID spread, protecting our hospitals from surges, and at the same time not destroying and shutting down our economy," said Gov. Sisolak during the news conference.

13 Investigates has also learned Nevada First Lady Kathy Sisolak was given a rapid COVID-19 test Friday which turned out to be negative.

RELATED: Nevada lieutenant governor 'prepared to assist' Gov. Sisolak amid COVID-19 quarantine

In the meantime, Nevada Lt. Gov. Kate Marshall has been in contact with the governor, wishes him well, and is standing by to help if needed.

So far, the governor is transitioning to work from home.