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Bloc Quebecois leader to be tested for coronavirus after wife tests positive

Bloc Quebecois leader Yves-François Blanchet will be tested for the novel coronavirus on Wednesday after his wife tested positive.

The party said Tuesday that Blanchet is self-isolating at his residence in Shawinigan, Que., and will be tested in nearby Mauricie.

“He is doing perfectly well,” his spokesperson Carolane Landry said in a statement.

Blanchet’s wife, Nancy Déziel, confirmed her diagnosis on Twitter Tuesday, saying she was tested on Monday after noticing she had lost her sense of smell.

She said she and her close relatives will be isolating until Sept. 22 while following public health guidelines, and will be working remotely while in isolation.

“I am still doing well, having no other symptoms aside from the loss of sense of smell,” she said.

Blanchet and the most of his caucus were already isolating after learning this past weekend that a staff member who works in Blanchet’s office tested positive for COVID-19, the disease caused by the coronavirus.

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The party announced that news Monday, and said the caucus members were taking the necessary health and safety precautions, including screening for the virus.

Landry told Global News Tuesday that 30 of the party’s 32 MPs are currently isolating and will undergo testing. The MPs will be working virtually while they await their test results.

On Tuesday, Canada’s chief health officer Dr. Theresa Tam emphasized that all Canadians must self-isolate for 14 days if they come into contact with a positive case — even if their test comes back negative.

“If you’re tested negative, that doesn’t necessarily mean that you’ll get out of that quarantine period,” she said. “People are being very cautious and in general are keeping their contacts within that 14-day quarantine period.”

Tam added that one negative test doesn’t necessarily mean a patient won’t test positive through subsequent tests.

She also wouldn’t say specifically whether MPs in isolation could end their quarantine period early to return to Parliament, which is scheduled to resume next week.

“Right now, the quarantine period is 14 days,” Tam said.

— With files from Global News’ Marc-André Cossette and Kalina Laframboise

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