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Premier Ford isolating after staff member tests positive for COVID-19

Last Updated Apr 21, 2021 at 5:43 am EDT

Ontario Premier Doug Ford speaks at a news conference at the Queens Park Legislature in Toronto on Wednesday, April 7 2021. The Province announced further lockdown restrictions in their latest effort to combat the spread of the COVID-19 virus. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Chris Young

Premier Doug Ford is self-isolating after a staff member he was in close contact with tested positive for COVID-19.

Ford has since tested negative.

A statement from the premier’s office says the staff member was tested Tuesday after learning they had been at risk of exposure.

Ford had been in close contact with the staffer on Monday. When he learned of the exposure risk, the statement says Ford immediately left the legislature and was tested.

Despite his test result being negative, Ford is following public health advice for close contacts of positive cases and is self-isolating in Toronto.

Other members of the premier’s staff who have been deemed close contacts of the individual who test positive will also be isolating.

“The Premier will continue leading this government’s response to the COVID-19 pandemic while in isolation, including briefings with officials and communicating with the public,” read the statement.

Ford received his first dose of the AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccine on April 9.

RELATED: Ford government faces heat at Queen’s Park amidst calls for Premier to resign

Health Minister Christine Elliott signaled Tuesday that the province could be ready to relent and announce a paid sick days , with some reports suggesting an announcement could come as early as Wednesday.

“It was clear yesterday (Monday) with the (federal) budget that it was not going to be improved by the federal government and so we are considering our alternatives now to deal with those gaps,” said Elliott.

It isn’t clear exactly what type of program the government is considering.

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