Richmond General Registrar tested positive for COVID-19 same day as press conference

Richmond

RICHMOND, Va. (WRIC) — City of Richmond General Registrar Kirk Showalter tells 8News that she did contract the coronavirus around a similar time as other registrar’s office employees. She received positive test results for a COVID-19 test that she took just hours after a press conference on Nov. 9.

At the press conference, Showalter announced that three employees at the registrar’s office had tested positive for COVID-19 and that 90% of staff or about 40 employees had been asked to quarantine until Nov. 17.

Showalter told 8News on Friday that nine total staff members tested positive for COVID-19 and all of them are recovering. “For that I am intensely thankful,” she said.

Of those nine staff members, three have been cleared from quarantine by the health department.

Showalter says due to the outbreak at the office she had scheduled a test just to “be on the safe side.” She says she had expected the results to be negative.

The conference was held outside and Showalter wore a mask and remained 6 feet away from everyone in attendance.

The entire office was closed on Nov. 12 due to the outbreak and had been scheduled to reopen today.

Showalter mentioned her recovery from COVID-19 in a statement addressing calls for her resignation on Thursday.

Democratic Party officials in Virginia sent a letter Thursday to Richmond’s Electoral Board calling for her resignation of the city’s general registrar, J. Kirk Showalter, or for the board to dismiss her over her handling of the 2020 election.

In Showalter’s response she says found the timing of the action to be “interesting.” She said her  ability to respond is currently hindered due to the closure of the registrar’s office and the fact that she is also recovering from COVID-19.

She also told 8News is that the Henrico General Registrar’s Office has had almost as many positive COVID-19 tests but no one has suggested that it was the General Registrar’s fault.

“We have been open to the public since this thing began, conducted a June election and had literally, ten of thousands of people come through our doors,” Showalter said in an email to an 8News reporter. ” I think that speaks to our care with all this.  It was only until the end that we had this outbreak.”

In her email Showalter also noted that “at least two people from the Democratic Party or Stoney’s campaign that came into contact with our staff members right before election day….right before the first case started developing symptoms.”

Mayor Levar Stoney began a temporary quarantine on Nov. 9 after a member of his campaign team tested positive for COVID-19. The campaign team member had recently interacted with staff at the Richmond Registrar’s Office.

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