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North Dakota lieutenant governor tests negative for COVID-19

North Dakota lieutenant governor tests negative for COVID-19

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North Dakota Lt. Gov. Brent Sanford, right, sits next to Speaker of the House Kim Koppelman, R-West Fargo, while listening to Gov. Doug Burgum's State of the State address at the state Capitol in Bismarck on Jan. 5.

Lt. Gov. Brent Sanford has tested negative for COVID-19, but he'll remain in quarantine at least through this week.

Governor's spokesman Mike Nowatzki told the Tribune of Sanford's test result on Monday. Sanford's family is in quarantine after his wife, Sandi, tested positive for the virus on Thursday. He and their children were tested Friday.

The quarantine has left Sanford unable to fulfill his role presiding over the Senate as the Legislature begins. Its third official day was Monday.

Nowatzki said Sanford will continue to quarantine at least through this week, but officials are "not sure yet beyond that." Last week, he said it was expected Sanford would return around the end of the month.

Sen. Randy Burckhard, R-Minot, will preside over the Senate in the lieutenant governor's absence, as president pro tempore.

State guidance allows close contacts to be released from quarantine after seven days if they remain symptom-free and test negative for the virus. Close contacts also can be released from quarantine after 10 days if they remain symptom-free.

Reach Jack Dura at 701-223-8482 or jack.dura@bismarcktribune.com.

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