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Kemp quarantining after congressman contracts COVID-19
Brian Kemp
Gov. Brian Kemp discusses the state’s response to the COVID-19 outbreak in a news conference April 1, 2020, at Liberty Plaza in Atlanta. - photo by Special to The Covington News

ATLANTA — Gov. Brian Kemp is quarantining after being exposed to a person who tested positive for COVID-19, his office announced this afternoon, Oct. 30.

Kemp’s office soon afterward announced he and First Lady Marty Kemp tested negative for the highly contagious virus. Both are still quarantining.

“The Governor is not currently experiencing any symptoms and will be quarantining, per Department of Public Health guidance,” Kemp’s office said in a statement.

Separately, U.S. Rep. Drew Ferguson, R-West Point, disclosed he tested positive for coronavirus after developing cold-like symptoms Thursday night that worsened the following morning.

Kemp and Ferguson, both Republicans, appeared together on Tuesday at a rally for President Donald Trump just outside Warm Springs, the same day Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden made a campaign stop there. Many of the attendees at the pro-Trump rally were not wearing masks.

Ferguson is campaigning for a third term representing Georgia’s 3rd Congressional District, which stretches west of Atlanta to the state line between Columbus and Villa Rica. He is competing against Democratic nominee Val Almonord.

“While the vast majority of my recent schedule has been virtual, we are beginning the process of reaching out to anyone I have seen in recent days,” Ferguson said today. “I am eager to get back to work and will do so as soon as I have fully recovered.”

Kemp’s quarantine announcement came shortly after he renewed COVID-19 distancing and sanitization rules that have been in place for several months in Georgia, which has struggled to shake off the virus as businesses and schools reopen following a statewide shutdown in April.

Public gatherings are limited to 50 persons or fewer and a shelter-in-place order remains in effect for elderly persons in long-term care facilities and those with chronic health issues.

As of this afternoon, more than 358,000 people in Georgia had tested positive for COVID-19, the disease caused by the novel strain of coronavirus that sparked a global pandemic. It had killed 7,955 Georgians.