Doug Ford is in isolation after a staff member he was in close contact with tested positive for COVID-19. While the premier tested negative for the virus on Tuesday, he will remain in isolation in Toronto, his office said.

“Immediately upon learning that this staff member was even at risk of exposure, the Premier left the legislature to be tested. While his test results have returned negative, the Premier will follow all public health advice for close contacts of positive cases, including isolating. He will do so in Toronto,” Ivana Yelich, Ford’s director of media relations said in a statement on Tuesday night.

Members of the Premier’s office staff who were close contacts of the person who tested positive will also isolate, the statement added.

The office is seeking additional guidance from Toronto Public Health on all precautions the Premier and other staff must follow. The guidance is to self-isolate for 14 days, Yelich stated.

“The Premier will continue leading this government’s response to the COVID-19 pandemic while in isolation, including briefings with officials and communicating with the public,” she added.

Ford faced backlash after announcing a series of new COVID-19 measures on Friday including the closure of outdoor playgrounds which he later walked back. He has not spoken publicly since then nor did he appear in Question Period this week. When asked Deputy Premier and Health Minister Christine Elliott said he was busy working on getting Ontario vaccines.

Meanwhile Government House Leader Paul Calandra and Minister Elliot have said the provincial government will present a paid sick-leave program for essential workers in a matter of days, something that Ford had previously called double dipping.

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