Republican South Carolina Gov. Henry McMaster tested positive for coronavirus late Monday evening after undergoing routine testing over the weekend.
The governor announced in a Tuesday press release he will isolate for the next 10 days and monitor for additional symptoms in accordance with guidelines from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and the South Carolina Department of Health and Environmental Control.
McMaster’s office noted he was experiencing mild symptoms such as a cough and slight fatigue. First lady Peggy McMaster — who tested positive for coronavirus last Thursday — remains asymptomatic, according to the statement. Both will continue to reside and work at the Governor’s Mansion in Columbia.
Governor Henry McMaster Tests Positive for COVID-19 | Gov. McMaster is experiencing mild symptoms, isolating with the First Lady at homehttps://t.co/ryI1yuts4Z
— SC Governor Press (@scgovernorpress) December 22, 2020
“Peggy and I urge everyone to be extra careful during the Christmas holiday season,” McMaster said in a statement. “This virus spreads very easily.”
The governor and first lady attended a White House Christmas event Dec. 14 after previously testing negative for coronavirus. McMaster spokesman Brian Symmes told The Hill that both followed the appropriate protocols, including wearing “a face covering when it was necessary and when social distancing wasn’t possible.”
McMaster initially tested negative for the coronavirus after the first lady’s positive test, according to a Dec. 18 press release. The governor said at that time he would follow official guidelines for “close contacts” and quarantine for seven days. (RELATED: Senator Tim Scott Receives Coronavirus Vaccine To Boost Public Confidence)
McMaster’s office also noted that he will receive monoclonal antibody treatment based on advice from his personal physician. The outpatient treatment is commonly prescribed by doctors as a preventative measure for patients with less severe symptoms, local news outlets reported.
The Republican governor has backed health guidelines such as wearing a mask and practicing social distancing but stopped short of imposing statewide mandates, according to The Post and Courier.
McMaster opened up businesses and schools Oct. 2 after an initial lockdown, according to The New York Times, but has indicated he will not reimpose such restrictions. Governors in states like New York recently ordered lockdown measures in anticipation of the Christmas holidays.