KDHE says Governor’s COVID test was likely false positive

Gov. Laura Kelly holds her granddaughter Tuesday, Jan. 10 during a ceremony at the Statehouse....
Gov. Laura Kelly holds her granddaughter Tuesday, Jan. 10 during a ceremony at the Statehouse. Hours later, she announced she tested positive for COVID. Thursday, her office said health officials determined it was a false positive.(WIBW-TV)
Published: Jan. 12, 2023 at 5:36 PM CST
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TOPEKA, Kan. (WIBW) - The Governor’s Office says Gov. Laura Kelly’s doctor and state health experts agree her COVID test was likely a false positive.

The statement late Thursday came two days after Kelly’s office announced she’d tested positive for the virus and was experiencing mild symptoms. The news came just hours after she held a news conference to sign an executive order, one day after the inauguration ceremony, and two days after the inaugural ball.

Her office says Kelly had cold-like symptoms and tested positive. She shared the news publicly, self-isolated and was working from home. Wednesday night’s State of the State address was postponed to Jan. 24.

“She continued to test, and after several subsequent negative tests, her physician and experts at the Kansas Department of Health and Environment have determined that she does not have COVID and that the original test was a false positive,” the Governor’s office said Thursday evening. “She has been cleared to work in-person starting tomorrow (Friday).”

KDHE State Health Officer Dr. Joan Duwve said Kelly followed all protocols.

“With the increased time indoors this winter, anytime Kansans are not feeling well they should follow the infection prevention protocols, get tested for respiratory viruses such as COVID-19 or influenza, and stay home until they are no longer experiencing symptoms,” Dr. Duwve said in a joint statement with the Governor’s office.

In Tuesday’s announcement of the positive COVID test, the Governor’s office urged those who took part in the inaugural gala, inauguration ceremony and Tuesday’s executive order signing to monitor for symptoms and get tested.