O'Toole, Blanchet both test positive for COVID-19 Friday, remain in isolation

OTTAWA — Conservative leader Erin O'Toole has tested positive for COVID-19.

His positive result Friday evening came hours after Bloc Quebecois Leader Yves-Francois Blanchet issued a statement that he too had tested positive.

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Both men will now be unable to attend next week's throne speech, with Blanchet required to isolate until at least Sept. 26 and O'Toole until at least Oct.1.

O'Toole, who has been the Opposition leader for less than four weeks, was tested in Gatineau, Que., Thursday after one of his staffers tested positive.

A statement from the Conservative Party says O'Toole, 47, is "feeling well."

His wife, Rebecca, and their children Mollie and Jack, all tested negative.

The Bloc issued a statement about Blanchet's positive test earlier Friday.

"He will stay in isolation at his home in Shawinigan until Sept. 26, in conformance with the instructions of Quebec public health," the Bloc said in a statement.

"He feels perfectly well."

Ontario Public Health requires an individual to isolate for at least 14 days after the day of their test if they have no symptoms, and or for 14 days after symptoms start.

Quebec's public health rules say a person who tests positive but doesn't have serious symptoms must stay isolated for 10 days.

Blanchet's wife, Nancy Déziel, tested positive for the illness earlier this week, after losing her sense of smell, and Blanchet said then that he would be tested as a precaution.

The Bloc leader was already in self-isolation, along with much of his caucus and other aides, after a staff member contracted COVID-19.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published Sept. 18, 2020.

© Virden Empire-Advance

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