Sophie Gregoire Trudeau tests positive for COVID-19; PM begins 14-day isolation

Published March 12, 2020 11:59 a.m. ET
Updated March 12, 2020 10:24 p.m. ET

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TORONTO -- Sophie Gregoire Trudeau has tested positive for COVID-19, the Prime Minister's Office confirmed.

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, who has been self-isolating at home with his wife, will not be tested “at this stage” because he currently has no symptoms, the Prime Minister’s Office said late Thursday.

The prime minister and his wife will be in isolation for a planned period of 14 days.

Gregoire Trudeau is the 158th Canadian to test positive for the virus that was declared a pandemic by the World Health Organization on Wednesday. She said in a statement that she is experiencing “uncomfortable symptoms of the virus” but plans to be back on her feet soon.

“Being in quarantine at home is nothing compared to other Canadian families who might be going through this and for those facing more serious health concerns,” Gregoire Trudeau said.

“We will get through this situation together. Please share the facts and take your health seriously.”

Trudeau will continue to assume his duties as prime minister and will address the country on Friday.

Health officials are now reaching out to those who have been in contact with Gregoire Trudeau.

“The Prime Minister and Mrs. Grégoire Trudeau thank all of Canada's health professionals and the Public Health Agency of Canada who are doing an incredible job in protecting all Canadians,” the prime minister’s office said.

Gregoire Trudeau began exhibiting flu-like symptoms after returning from a speaking engagement in the U.K. She immediately sought medical advice after developing the symptoms and a low fever late Wednesday, according to a statement from the Prime Minister’s Office.

In a tweet sent Thursday afternoon before Gregoire Trudeau tested positive, Trudeau said his wife was feeling better, but echoed the message of caution.

“Out of an abundance of caution, I too will be self-isolating & self-monitoring until we get Sophie‘s results back. But I‘ll be busy working from home. Today, I‘ll be speaking with some world leaders and joining ministers for a Cabinet committee discussion on COVID-19,” read the tweet.

Sources told CTV News earlier on Thursday that the couple’s children are not showing symptoms and are not being quarantined.

Deputy Prime Minister Chrystia Freeland said she spoke with Trudeau several times on Thursday and that he sounded “energetic as usual.”

“He sounded fantastic. He is very much in charge,” Freeland told CTV’s Power Play, adding that Trudeau spoke with at least three G7 leaders on the phone and participated in an ad hoc meeting on the coronavirus.

“How I would describe it is the prime minister is working from home, and he has been working really hard.”

NDP Leader Jagmeet Singh also revealed Thursday that he is self-isolating after falling ill.

“I have been in contact with a doctor and they do not believe I have symptoms consistent with COVID19. But their advice is for me to limit contact with the public until I am feeling better,” he tweeted.

“All of us come into contact with many people who may be vulnerable to illness - we have to make sure we are taking measures to limit the chance that we infect them.”

Liberal MP Anthony Housefather, Natural Resource Minister Seamus O’Regan, and International Trade Minister Mary Ng are also in self-isolation.

According to a statement from the Conservative Party, no Conservative MPs are currently in self-isolation and none have been tested for COVID-19.

The Public Health Agency of Canada (PHAC) is directing any Canadians with symptoms to isolate themselves at home and avoid contact with others.

Anyone who is not showing symptoms, but has had a high risk of exposure to the virus-- having been in close contact with someone who is ill, for example-- is being asked to enter into a “voluntary home quarantine,” also known as “self-isolation.”

On Wednesday, Trudeau announced that the government is putting more than $1 billion into its plan to combat and mitigate the impacts of the virus.

That includes more support for provinces to shore up their regional health authorities and stockpiles in anticipation of a worsened spread of the virus, and waiving the waiting period for employment insurance assistance for workers who are in quarantine.

Former NDP leader Tom Mulcair praised Trudeau’s response, noting that all parties need to band together to fight the spread of the virus domestically.

“This is a little bit akin to a time of war, where everyone, from all parties, has to work together” he told CTV News Channel Thursday. “This is an unprecedented situation – uncharted territory – and we’re going to have to try to get through all of this together.”


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