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COVID-19 exposure at Giuliani testimony results in mandatory quarantine for many attendees

LANSING, Mich. – Several people who attended testimony given by Rudy Giuliani to the Michigan House Oversight Committee on Wednesday must quarantine through at least Dec. 12 due to exposure to coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19). Giuliani, President Donald Trump’s lawyer, was hospitalized for COVID-19 on Sunday.

The Ingham County Health Department has consulted with the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services on the matter. State health officials, including Chief Medical Executive Dr. Joneigh Khaldun, concur that given the course of illness, it is extremely likely that Giuliani was contagious during his testimony. People are contagious with COVID-19 two days prior to symptom onset or a positive COVID-19 test if asymptomatic. Giuliani’s hospitalization on Sunday is highly indicative of onset prior to Saturday making Wednesday a likely exposure date.  Anyone who did not wear a face covering during the proceedings must quarantine. Also, anyone who was within 6 feet of Giuliani for 15 minutes, which can be cumulative rather than a single 15-minute period (regardless of mask usage), must quarantine.

“Unfortunately, Mayor Giuliani has been hospitalized with COVID-19. His hospitalization comes only days after being in a confined conference room in Lansing for several hours without a mask,” said Ingham County Health Officer Linda S. Vail. “Adding to my concern is that many attendees were also unmasked. This is the highest level of risk. Those who were present without a mask and those who were within 6 feet of Mayor Giuliani must quarantine for the safety of others. I wish Mayor Giuliani a full and speedy recovery.”

Close contacts to positive people must quarantine following COVID-19 exposure. Typically, a close contact is someone who was within 6 feet of a COVID-19 positive person for 15 minutes cumulative; however, CDC cites other factors to consider when determining a close contact including: the duration of exposure, if the infected person was likely to generate respiratory aerosols, and other environmental factors such as crowding, adequacy of ventilation and whether exposure was indoors or outdoors. These factors were present increasing the risk of transmission. Quarantine is suggested for all who attended the testimony.

The standard length of quarantine is 14 days; however, it is now allowable for people to quarantine for ten days following exposure and to monitor for symptoms and wear masks on days 11-14 as long as they remain symptom-free. Neither ICHD nor MDHHS advise testing to shorten the quarantine period at this time. Quarantine/monitoring ends on Dec. 17 for those who attended the testimony at the Anderson House Office Building.