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Gov. Brian Kemp tests negative for COVID-19 after exposure
Gov. Brian Kemp
Gov. Brian Kemp

ATLANTA (AP) — Republican Georgia Gov. Brian Kemp tested negative for COVID-19 after having had “direct exposure” to someone who tested positive, but he is quarantining as a precaution, according to a statement posted to his official Twitter account Friday.

The statement said first lady Marty Kemp also tested negative and is “not known to have been exposed to a confirmed case.” It was unclear whether she was quarantining with her husband. An earlier statement from the governor's spokesman Cody Hall said she was.

In a separate announcement Friday, U.S. Rep. Drew Ferguson of West Point, Georgia, said he had tested positive for the virus.

Both Kemp and Ferguson attended a Thursday night campaign event inside a barbecue restaurant in Hogansville, Georgia, with between 100-150 people in attendance, according to the LaGrange Daily News.

Hogansville Mayor Bill Stankiewicz, who attended the event, said, “It was close quarters and Drew (Ferguson) did not have a mask on ... for much of the evening,” the newspaper reported.

CDC guidelines state that anyone “who has had close contact with someone with COVID-19 should stay home for 14 days after their last exposure to that person.” People can test positive several days after exposure even if initial tests come back negative.

It was not clear if Ferguson is the person Kemp’s statement was referring to. Hall did not respond to a phone call and text from The Associated Press seeking clarity.

Ferguson said he would self-quarantine and work from home.

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