Al­der­man tests pos­i­tive for virus after at­tend­ing event with Light­foot — but mayor tests neg­a­tive

Chicago Sun-Times - - TOP NEWS - BY RACHEL HIN­TON AND SAM KELLY Rachel Hin­ton is a Sun-Times staff re­porter. Sam Kelly is a CST Wire re­porter.

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.

PAT NABONG/SUN-TIMES

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.

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