Prime Minister Justin Trudeau says he is isolating after exposed to COVID-19

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau says he is isolating after exposed to COVID-19

OTTAWA — Prime Minister Justin Trudeau says he is isolating at home after learning that he was exposed to someone who had tested positive for COVID-19.

The prime minister said in a tweet Thursday morning that he learned about the exposure the night before, after he had been at a news conference on Parliament Hill with three top ministers.

Trudeau’s office says the exposure happened after the event and that no staffer or minister in range of the prime minister are isolating.

Trudeau said the result of a rapid antigen test he took was negative, but he is following local public health rules and isolating for five days.

He said he will be working from home during that stretch.

“I feel fine and will be working from home,” he wrote in the tweet. “Stay safe, everyone — and please get vaccinated.”

Staying home for five days will mean the prime minister will not be able to appear in person when the House of Commons returns Monday from its winter break.

Ottawa Public Health guidelines say anyone who does not have symptoms of COVID-19 and tests negative on a rapid antigen test does not need to self-isolate unless they are doing so because of a close contact, like a symptomatic household member.

Trudeau is fully vaccinated and received his booster shot at a local Ottawa pharmacy three weeks ago.

Several of Trudeau’s cabinet ministers have had to isolate in recent weeks after positive tests, or because they were potentially exposed to the virus.

Finance Minister Chrystia Freeland was forced in mid-December to deliver her economic update remotely after two members of her team tested positive on rapid tests.

A few days later, Foreign Affairs Minister Mélanie Joly announced she had tested positive on a rapid test and was isolating.

Joly and Freeland were at the news conference with Trudeau on Wednesday, along with Defence Minister Anita Anand. She too had to cancel a trip to Washington, D.C. and isolate after a member of her staff tested positive in mid-December.

The news conference came at the end of a cabinet retreat, where ministers joined remotely.

Trudeau was not scheduled for any in-person events Thursday. He was to call foreign leaders and address the Liberal caucus remotely.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published Jan. 27, 2022.

The Canadian Press

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