Rebecca O’Toole, the wife of Conservative Leader Erin O’Toole, has tested positive for the coronavirus following an earlier negative test result.
In a statement issued Tuesday, the Conservative Party said Rebecca O’Toole developed a fever on Sunday and went to a local Ottawa testing centre before receiving a positive test result on Monday.
That comes after she initially received a negative result on Friday when she, her husband, and their two children were tested following exposure to a party staffer who had also tested positive for the virus.
The couple’s two children, aged 14 and nine, are being monitored for symptoms, the party said.
Erin O’Toole and Bloc Quebecois leader Yves-Francois Blanchet are the first federal party leaders to test positive for the virus. Both have been in isolation since receiving their results.
Prime Minister Justin Trudeau’s wife Sophie Gregoire Trudeau tested positive in the spring and has since recovered.
But the risk of spread in the close quarters of Parliament Hill has been a looming concern as the House of Commons prepares to return on Wednesday following the throne speech ending prorogation.
Conservative MPs addressed the questions on Tuesday morning ahead of their caucus meeting.
Candice Bergen, deputy leader, said she feels confident officials are putting appropriate protective measures in place.
“There has been, and will continue to be, abundance of caution to make sure MPs, staff and the precinct are safe,” she said. “I feel satisfied that everyone has the right motives in terms of making sure that safety is paramount.”
Conservative House leader Gerard Deltell said that the recent spike in cases shows the situation is changing quickly.
“We have to keep in mind that we have to be very careful on the health issue and also be sure that our members will have all the chance to exercise their job as MPs,” he said. “We have to balance it. Everybody will recognize and realize that in the last two weeks, things have changed dramatically.”
The House of Commons is set to resume on Sept. 23.
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