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CORONAVIRUS

Lieutenant Governor McKee in quarantine after close contact tests positive

McKee just learned on Thursday that he will become governor when Governor Raimondo joins President-elect Biden’s Cabinet

Lieutenant Governor Daniel J. McKee
Lieutenant Governor Daniel J. McKeeHandout (custom credit)/Handout

PROVIDENCE — Lieutenant Governor Daniel J. McKee on Saturday announced that he is quarantining after learning that he had been in close contact with someone who later tested positive for COVID-19.

McKee said he tested negative on Saturday morning and is displaying no symptoms. He is quarantining at home in Cumberland, and will continue to be tested, he said.

“No one is above the rules of quarantine,” McKee said in the statement. “As a state official, I am committed to modeling the kind of response to this virus that I hope all Rhode Islanders would have.”

He said he will continue to receive briefings remotely, and will carry out his responsibilities remotely until his quarantine ends at midnight Tuesday. That includes working on his transition to governor, which is expected to take place after Governor Gina M. Raimondo has been confirmed as Secretary of Commerce.

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“Once I’ve reached the end of my quarantine, I look forward to speaking with Rhode Islanders and members of the media about our vision for a seamless transition and strong COVID response,” McKee said. “Until then, I will continue to follow the guidance of the Department of Health, which is intended to keep all Rhode Islanders safe.”

McKee’s transition spokesman, Mike Trainor, said the person that McKee came into contact was a private citizen and not a public official. He declined to name the individual. He said McKee was exposed to that person last Tuesday, and the quarantine period lasts seven days.

McKee plans to hold a news conference at 10 a.m. Wednesday at the Veterans Memorial Auditorium, Trainor said.

The news come just five days after Raimondo announced that she was quarantining after being informed that she had a close contact last week who tested positive for COVID-19. Raimondo tested negative and emerged from quarantine in time to appear in Delaware, where President-elect Joe Biden formally introduced her as his nominee for commerce secretary.

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Raimondo had also been in quarantine in December after Dr. Nicole Alexander-Scott, director of Rhode Island’s Department of Health, tested positive for COVID-19. Raimondo’s director of administration, Brett P. Smiley, also tested positive for the virus in December. Both Alexander-Scott and Smiley have since returned to work.


Edward Fitzpatrick can be reached at edward.fitzpatrick@globe.com. Follow him on Twitter @FitzProv.