Colorado's Jared Polis Becomes Sixth U.S. Governor to Test Positive for Coronavirus

Colorado Democratic Governor Jared Polis announced on Saturday night that he and his spouse have tested positive for coronavirus.

In a statement, the governor's office said that Polis and First Gentleman, Marlon Reis, learned that they tested positive for COVID-19 this evening. Polis told his followers on Twitter "we are both asymptomatic, feeling well, and will continue to isolate at home."

"No person or family is immune to this virus. I urge every Coloradan to practice caution, limit public interactions, wear a mask in public, stay six feet from others, and wash your hands regularly," the governor said, adding that he will continue to fulfil his duties and responsibilities remotely from home.

Jared Polis
Colorado governor Jared Polis speaks to the media regarding the shooting at STEM School Highlands Ranch at the Douglas County Sheriffs Office on May 8, 2019. Michael Ciaglo/Getty

The 45-year-old Democrat is the sixth American governor to report testing positive for the novel virus. Four governors—two Republicans and two Democrats—contracted COVID-19 earlier this year.

Oklahoma's Kevin Stitt, a Republican, became the first governor known to have caught the virus in July. Virginia's Ralph Northam, a Democrat, and Missouri's Mike Parson, a Republican, both tested positive with their wives in September. Nevada's Steve Sisolak, a Democrat, confirmed he had tested positive earlier this month.

A third Republican governor, Ohio's Mike DeWine, also announced a positive test using a rapid-result test in August. However, he tested negative hours later with a more accurate test that took longer for a result to show.

Polis' positive test came two days after he announced that he was exposed to an individual who tested positive for COVID-19. "I took a test tonight and tested negative, but will begin quarantining, per CDC and CDPHE guidance," he said at the time.

A third coronavirus wave has rapidly spread throughout most states in America as the country nears its winter months. Three weeks after setting a grim record of more than 100,000 daily cases on November 4, the U.S. recorded over 200,000 cases for the first time on Friday.

Polis on November 9 extended the state's mask mandate for 30 additional days and urged residents to take the profound virus threat more seriously as cases climbed. At the same time, he expressed optimism at the prospect of a vaccine, saying "the end is in sight."

As of November 28, more than 13.5 million individuals have tested positive for COVID-19 across the country, with over 272,000 deaths caused by the virus. About 8 million people have recovered after being infected with the virus.

Newsweek reached out to Polis' office for further comment.