Minnesota Gov. Walz, family test positive for COVID-19

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FILE - In this Jan. 26, 2021 file photo, Minnesota Gov. Tim Walz takes off his University of Minnesota cloth face mask to answer a question from a reporter during a news conference in St. Paul, Minn. Gov. Walz has tested positive for COVID-19, along with his wife and teenage son, the governor's office announced Tuesday, Dec. 21, 2021. (Anthony Souffle/Star Tribune via AP File)

MINNEAPOLIS (AP) — Minnesota Gov. Tim Walz has tested positive for COVID-19, along with his wife and teenage son, the governor's office announced Tuesday.

Walz said in a statement that the three of them tested positive on Monday after his son began experiencing mild symptoms over the weekend. The governor and first lady Gwen Walz remain asymptomatic.

All three have been vaccinated, including Walz who received the Johnson & Johnson single-dose vaccine in March and the Moderna booster in October. They will quarantine for 10 days, Walz said

“My family and I are isolating, and I will continue to work from home until I feel better and test negative for the virus,” Walz said in a statement. “In the meantime, I encourage every Minnesotan to get tested before the holidays, and to roll up their sleeves and get their vaccine and their booster to ensure they, too, have strong protection against COVID-19.”

“As a dad, I'm super concerned for my family," Walz said in a video posted on Twitter, while expressing faith in the effectiveness of vaccines and booster shots, citing his own lack of symptoms. The governor urged Minnesotans to get the booster shot and get tested if they experience any symptoms during the holiday season.

“The biggest gift we can give is staying safe and seeing our relatives into the new year,” he said.

The omicron variant has quickly become the dominant version of the coronavirus, making up 73% of new infections across the country this week, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Minnesota hospital capacity remains strained amid fears of an omicron-fueled spike in cases, with nearly 1,500 people hospitalized with complications due to COVID-19 as of Monday, including 355 in intensive care.

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