Loudoun Chamber PolicyMaker Series 2019 | Sen. Kaine 1

U.S. Sen. Tim Kaine (D-VA) was the keynote speaker for the Loudoun Chamber's PolicyMaker Series on Affordable Housing in June 2019.

U.S. Sen. Tim Kaine on Thursday said that he and his wife recently tested positive for COVID-19 antibodies.

The Democratic senator said he's using the announcement to urge people to follow federal guidelines as the country continues to work to limit the spread of the coronavirus.

“I think the reason we wanted to be public was to say, ‘Thank goodness, our cases were mild’ and ‘We're feeling better,’” Kaine said to reporters on Thursday. “But you got to be careful about this because it can present in unexpected ways, and just because you had it you can't assume ‘Oh great, I have antibodies, so I'm protected now.’ The research that's being done into antibodies and what they actually give you is still very murky.”

Kaine said it’s unclear how effective coronavirus antibodies are. Immunity can last either for decades or just months. He said right now the best advice is to continue following the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) guidelines, which include social distancing of six feet or more, frequent hand-washing and covering your mouth when you cough.

Kaine said his coronavirus story started with an official flu diagnosis earlier this year. At the end of March, Kaine said he experienced new symptoms and a reaction to an unusually high spring pollen count.

Anne Holton, Kaine's wife and the interim president at George Mason University, then had a short stint with a fever and chills followed by congestion and a cough, the senator said.

Kaine said he and his wife remained at home in Richmond isolated from others. The two did not take a test due to the nationwide shortage. By mid-April, the couple was free of symptoms.

“We each tested positive for coronavirus antibodies this month,” Sen. Kaine said. “While those antibodies could make us less likely to be re-infected or infect others, there is still too much uncertainty over what protection antibodies may actually provide. So we will keep following CDC guidelines—hand-washing, mask wearing, social distancing. We encourage others to do so as well. It shows those around you that you care about them.”

In Virginia, state officials are still working to increase testing capacity, although testing has increased significantly in recent weeks. Virginia’s population is around 8.5 million. Statewide, 285,273 people have been tested since the first coronavirus case on March 7.

The commonwealth's number of coronavirus cases on Thursday jumped by 1,152 to 41,401 cases. There have been 1,338 deaths and 4,442 hospitalizations.

(6) comments

Freedom

It’s sad if anyone gets the newly named covid19 SARS related virus - I wish senator kaine and his wife good health - also plead with the protestors and the others who show up at night - to not violate the cdc guidelines- don’t get it and don’t give it ! Beat the virus

adopted_va_son

This is the only time the word "positive" has been connected to Senator Kaine.

GorgesWalker

Of course having the antibodies for SARS-CoV-2 (the real name of the virus) doesn't mean you'll forever be immune. Like other RNA viruses this one mutates, too. Same reason you see a different flu shot each flu season and you're only approx. 30% protected. The flu shots you get are always too late because the virus it's made for has mutated.

Oldbroad

Why are hundreds of people getting tested if they have no symptoms? I don't mean to sound ignorant but if you have no symptoms and have been staying safe what does the testing accomplish ? I'm having surgery so I have to get that icky test but I wouldn't get it otherwise as I have no symptoms and I've been home or being vigilant when i do have to go out.

amerigirl

Because you can be asymptomatic and be spreading it. Many doctors offices are saying they don't want you to come in without having a test first.

Well Water Person

Well, that is good news!

Welcome to the discussion.

Keep it Clean. Please avoid obscene, vulgar, lewd, racist or sexually-oriented language.
PLEASE TURN OFF YOUR CAPS LOCK.
Don't Threaten. Threats of harming another person will not be tolerated.
Be Truthful. Don't knowingly lie about anyone or anything.
Be Nice. No racism, sexism or any sort of -ism that is degrading to another person.
Be Proactive. Use the 'Report' link on each comment to let us know of abusive posts.
Share with Us. We'd love to hear eyewitness accounts, the history behind an article.