Alderman tests positive for virus after attending event with Lightfoot — but mayor tests negative
Ald. Michael Scott Jr. announced Thursday that he has tested positive for the coronavirus — one day after he appeared at a news conference with Mayor Lori Lightfoot.
“I am home now, currently with no symptoms,” Scott said in a statement. “I am following all the necessary health protocols in accordance with the Chicago Department of Public Health.”
The mayor’s press secretary issued a statement late Thursday saying that Lightfoot had tested negative since the news conference and will not be self-quarantining.
The West Side alderman said in his statement that he took a COVID-19 test last Friday at a Bike the Boulevard event that his 24th Ward office hosted with the 10th and 11th police districts to encourage safe, positive community activity.
“Today, I received my test results, and they came back positive,” Scott said.
A Lightfoot ally who chairs the City Council’s Education Committee, Scott appeared with the mayor at a City Hall news conference on Wednesday to discuss the decision to shift Chicago Public Schools to a remote learning plan in the fall.
Scott made no mention of the mayor or the event in his statement, but his spokeswoman said the mayor was notified of the alderman’s test results.
“As a public official, it is my responsibility to share this news because I have a publicfacing life,” Scott said in his statement. “I understand how crucial it is to offer clear communication with my constituents, community members and elected officials during these difficult times to keep us all safe. Thank you to everyone for your support of me and my family at this time.”
Lightfoot’s spokeswoman said the mayor is following the guidance of the city Public Health Department.
“Mayor Lightfoot has been tested for COVID-19 since yesterday’s press conference, and her results have come back negative,” mayoral press secretary Anel Ruiz said. “She will not be quarantining given that she was not in close proximity with the alderman for an extended period of time, per CDPH and CDC guidelines on quarantining.
“All participants were wearing masks and practicing proper social distancing for the duration of yesterday’s press conference.”
The mayor’s staff is reaching out to others who came in contact with Scott and “conducting a deep clean of the press conference space” and other areas in the building where Scott went, Ruiz said.
After Illinois Attorney General Kwame
Raoul announced in June that he had tested positive for COVID-19, Gov. J.B. Pritzker and other Democrats who attended a south suburban event with him 10 days earlier vowed to get retested. But unlike Pritzker and Cook County State’s Attorney Kim Foxx, Cook County Board President Toni Preckwinkle said at the time she had no plans to get retested, even though she also was at the same Calumet City event.
“Their paths never crossed,” Preckwinkle’s spokesman said at the time.
Scott, 44, has been in the City Council since 2015, when he won a race that originally included 10 candidates. He won reelection last year without a run-off. He is the son of the late Michael Scott Sr., a former Chicago Board of Education president.
Scott is the second alderman to test positive for the coronavirus.
34th Ward Ald. Carrie Austin, 71, announced last month that she had tested positive for the potentially deadly virus after initially testing negative for it at a different hospital on the same day.
Ald. Michael Scott Jr. (with Mayor Lori Lightfoot in the background) speaks Wednesday during a news conference about Chicago Public Schools’ plans for remote learning in the fall.