NC Senate leader's staff quarantines after possible coronavirus exposure at Christmas party

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Wednesday, December 16, 2020
NC Senate leader's staff quarantines after possible COVID-19 exposure
One guest was likely "presymptomatic" at Sen. Phil Berger's annual holiday party for staffers and their guests.

RALEIGH, N.C. (WTVD) -- Several of the Senate Leader's staff members are in quarantine after possibly being exposed to the novel coronavirus at a Christmas party.

Sen. Phil Berger, R-Rockingham, holds a Christmas party every year for current and past staffers, spokesman Patrick Ryan said.

This year's event was a smaller gathering with only some current staff and their significant others at a local restaurant, Ryan said. He added that the gathering was in line with all relevant restrictions, including capacity limits inside restaurants.

On Wednesday morning, Ryan said, "We learned that one attendee was likely presymptomatic at the event."

That attendee was a guest of a staff member. All close contacts are quarantining per health guidelines, Ryan said.

No one else has tested positive for COVID-19 or shows any symptoms.

Ryan said guests wore masks except while eating.

"Sen. Berger has about 15 people on staff and not all of them went or brought significant others," Ryan told ABC11. "The gathering probably looked identical to any scene at any of the hundreds of locations where people eat lunch or dinner every day in Raleigh."