Kaine says he and his wife tested positive for coronavirus antibodies


WASHINGTON (WAVY) — On March 19, on the Senate floor, Sen. Tim Kaine pleaded for additional COVID- 19 testing for the nation’s health care providers. That was around the time he and his family wondered if the former governor himself needed a COVID-19 test.

Kaine says he and his wife Anne recently tested positive for coronavirus antibodies.

Kaine says he believes he got a mild case of COVID-19 starting in late March/early April. He was also diagnosed with the flu earlier in the year and continued receiving treatment for the flu through mid-March.

“I tested positive for the flu earlier this year and was given standard medication to treat it. The symptoms lingered and I continued to receive treatment from my physician for the flu through mid-March. At the end of March, I experienced new symptoms that I initially thought were flu remnants and a reaction to an unusually high spring pollen count. Then Anne experienced a short bout of fever and chills, followed by congestion and eventually a cough.”

He says he and his wife were isolating at their home in Richmond at the time.

“I did have two people in the office answering phones, but most of my office of 50 was telecommuting,” said Kaine.

By then, Gov. Ralph Northam had shut down most of the state.

“After Anne got sick, we each talked to our health providers in early April and they thought it possible that we had mild cases of coronavirus. We were both at home in Richmond, working remotely and isolated from others. Due to the national testing shortage, we were not tested for the virus but continued isolating and watched for any worsening of symptoms. By mid-April we were symptom-free.”

While he tested positive for antibodies, Kaine isn’t taking chances due to the uncertainty around whether antibodies protect from a second infection. How much coronavirus immunity Kaine and his wife have is unknown.

“So we will keep following CDC guidelines — hand-washing, mask-wearing, social distancing. We encourage others to do so as well. It shows those around you that you care about them.”

While Kaine tested positive for antibodies, Kentucky Sen. Rand Paul is the only senator to test positive for COVID-19 through a diagnostic test, meaning he was still infected with COVID-19 at the time. He was diagnosed on March 22.

Kaine’s announcement comes one day after Pennsylvania Democrat Brian Sims blasted Republican colleagues in the house who reportedly tested positive for COVID-19 but shared the information only with other members of the GOP.

“During that time period they were testing positively; they were notifying each other and they weren’t notifying us,” said Sims in an expletive-filled rant on his Facebook page yesterday.

“That’s pretty shocking and that’s one of the reasons why my wife and I wanted to give this information,” said Kaine.

If you think you may have been exposed to COVID-19, antibody testing is now being conducted throughout Hampton Roads. For more information, click here.

Correction: A previous version of this story misstated when Sen. Tim Kaine was diagnosed with the flu. It has been updated to reflect he was diagnosed with the flu earlier this year and received flu treatment through mid-March.

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