KEY POINTS

  • South Dakota Gov. Kristi Noem was exposed to White House adviser Kimberly Guilfoyle, who tested positive for COVID-19 on July 3
  • The governor joined President Donald Trump on Air Force One on July 3 
  • Noem will not self-isolate because she tested negative for the virus before meeting with Trump, says staff

South Dakota Gov. Kristi Noem was aboard the Air Force One with President Donald Trump Friday (July 3) after she reportedly came in close contact with Kimberly Guilfoyle, a White House senior adviser and the girlfriend of Donald Trump Jr., who tested positive for COVID-19.

According to reports, the governor was with Guilfoyle for a South Dakota campaign fundraiser Thursday (July 2) and they were seen greeting each other with a hug. Guilfoyle found out she was positive the following day.

But Noem's communications director Ian Fury confirmed Monday that there is no need for the governor to self-isolate for two weeks after being exposed to Guilfoyle. The governor apparently took a coronavirus test and was negative for COVID-19 before she met with Trump.

Fury also said that prior to joining the president on Air Force One, Noem conferred with the White House doctors and was allowed to join Trump on his jet.

White House press secretary Kayleigh McEnany said in a press briefing Monday that the president has "tested constantly" negative for COVID-19. Those in close contact with Trump are also tested regularly.

"They take the president’s health very seriously," McEnany said, referring to the Secret Service, the agency that apparently clears the people who can travel with the president. "They would never put him in a situation that would put him in harm’s way.”

49285713388_fa018d65ef_k South Dakota Gov. Kristi Noem was exposed to someone with coronavirus and then joined Trump on his jet. Photo: Gage Skidmore/Flickr (https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0/)

Public health experts, including those from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and the World Health Organization (WHO), said that carriers of the coronavirus infection might still test negative during the incubation period.

"If you have no symptoms, testing for COVID-19 probably won’t show positive results until three days after exposure," Dr. Shankar Kurra of South Dakota's Monument Health said.

Ty White, the healthcare facility's director of infection and prevention control, also said a coronavirus test immediately after exposure will likely come out negative.

"The viral load would not be at a level that would be detected," White said, per Rapid City Journal. "If you are identified as an exposure, you should isolate the entire 14 days."