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SC Gov. McMaster Tests Positive For COVID-19


South Carolina Gov. Henry McMaster has COVID-19.

The governor’s office said McMaster learned he had tested positive for the coronavirus on Monday night after his wife, first lady Peggy McMaster, tested positive. The governor had “mild symptoms” including cough and fatigue as of Tuesday afternoon while Peggy McMaster was asymptomatic. Both are 73.

“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 state Department of Health and Environmental Control says it’s not sure when the McMasters contracted the virus.

On the advice of his personal physician, the governor was slated to receive monoclonal antibody treatment Tuesday, which his office called a “preventative measure for those with mild to moderate symptoms.”

The governor was tested last week at the same time as his wife but had a negative result at the time, his office said.

Both McMasters had attended a Christmas event at the White House earlier last week and took a “precautionary, routine test” Thursday.

Since that time, Peggy McMaster planned to isolate for 10 days, while the governor's office said he would quarantine for a week while testing regularly and continuing his official duties.

As of Tuesday afternoon, there had been at least 257,340 laboratory-confirmed cases of the coronavirus in South Carolina since the pandemic began. At least 4,602 South Carolinians have died of COVID-19 complications, according to the state. At least 1,586 people were hospitalized for COVID-19 in the state on Tuesday — 344 of them in intensive care.

As news of McMaster's diagnosis spread, other prominent politicians offered well-wishes. U.S. Sen. Tim Scott of South Carolina said he hoped the governor was "back on (his) feet soon."

The state reports that more than 19,600 people have been vaccinated as of Tuesday afternoon. South Carolina's first shipments of vaccines came in Dec. 14.

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