Prime minister tests negative for COVID-19, still isolating

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Prime Minister Jüri Ratas already started working remotely, via internet link, on Friday. Source: Sergei Stepanov/ERR

Prime Minister Jüri Ratas (Center) has returned negative on a COVID-19 test he took after coming into contact with a carrier. He will still be in isolation until next Saturday, his office says.

"My COVID-19 test is negative and I feel very well," the prime minister said, via his office.

"According to Health Board instructions, I will remain in isolation until getting a second negative test result. This will be clear as of next Saturday. In the meantime, I will be working remotely and naturally will be following other instructions issued by the Health Board, to those who are close contacts of a sick COVID-19 patient."

Ratas had to cut short an official trip to Ida-Viru County on Friday, after receiving notification that morning that he had been in close contact with an individual earlier in the week, who later tested positive for coronavirus.

Ratas said Friday the contact had been work-related, lasted about 18 minutes and that he had been wearing a mask at the time.
The Health Board's requirement following a close contact notification is that the individual self-quarantine, even if they return negative for a test, for a period of 10 days and/or until they test negative a second time, some days after the initial test.
Ratas will be working remotely during that time.

An individual designated a close contact, if they are symptom-less and take all precautions including mask-wearing and social distancing, may go out to obtain essential items, and also go to open spaces such as parks or forests provided they avoid contact with others. As an elected official Ratas may also be able to leave home otherwise, though this exemption applies more to first responders and other essential service providers.

President Kersti Kaljulaid is also self-quarantining, having come into contact with an individual earlier in the week who later tested COVID-19-positive.

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Editor: Andrew Whyte

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