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Premier Jason Kenney tests negative for COVID-19 after close contact with positive case

Click to play video 'Alberta Premier Jason Kenney self-isolating after close contact with positive COVID-19 case' Alberta Premier Jason Kenney self-isolating after close contact with positive COVID-19 case
WATCH: Alberta Premier Jason Kenney announces he is self-isolating again after being informed a close contact had tested positive for COVID-19. – Nov 12, 2020

Alberta’s premier will self-isolate for two weeks despite testing negative for COVID-19 on Thursday.

Premier Jason Kenney joined Thursday’s media update on the province’s COVID-19 situation by telephone from his home, explaining he was quarantining after coming into contact with someone who tested positive for the novel coronavirus.

Read more: Alberta premier tests negative for COVID-19, will still self-isolate after minister tests positive

“Earlier today I was informed that I have been in close contact with someone who has tested positive for COVID-19,” the premier said.

“And so, as a result, I’ve been tested myself and am waiting for those results.”

Kenney said whether the results of his test are positive or negative, he will be following the provincial guidelines that advise he stay home for 14 days from the incident of contact, which was Monday. That means he’ll be working from home until Nov. 23.

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On Thursday evening, the premier’s press secretary Christine Myatt confirmed his test came back negative.

Click to play video 'Alberta’s new COVID-19 restrictions place limits on fitness, hospitality industries' Alberta’s new COVID-19 restrictions place limits on fitness, hospitality industries
Alberta’s new COVID-19 restrictions place limits on fitness, hospitality industries – Nov 12, 2020

The premier said he didn’t have any COVID-19 symptoms and is “feeling fine,” and said he was tested Thursday afternoon.

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Kenney said a close contact under Alberta Health guidelines is being within two metres of someone confirmed to have the illness for longer than 15 minutes — specifically within the 48 hours before they exhibit symptoms — and he “falls within those parameters.”

Kenney’s press secretary said the exposure didn’t happen at the legislature, and that no other cabinet members or MLAs are required to self-isolate.

This is not the first time Kenney has waited for COVID-19 test results while self-isolating. In October, the premier and several other cabinet ministers had to quarantine after Municipal Affairs Minster Tracy Allard tested positive for the virus.

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Kenney quickly got a negative test result at that time, however still self-isolated for two weeks.

Read more: Alberta Premier Jason Kenney not self-isolating after premiers’ meeting with COVID-19 case connection

When asked in October about Kenney’s rapid test turn-around time, chief medical officer of health Dr. Deena Hinshaw said there’s a small list of provincial officials who get expedited COVID-19 testing, including herself and the premier, because they are critical to the pandemic response. That list was approved by cabinet, she said.