Erin O’Toole and family being tested after staffer tests positive for COVID-19

Erin O'Toole addresses the crowd at a federal Conservative leadership forum during the annual general meeting of the Nova Scotia Progressive Conservative party in Halifax on Saturday, February 8, 2020. PHOTO BY ANDREW VAUGHAN/THE CANADIAN PRESS/FILE

Conservative Leader Erin O’Toole and his family are being tested for COVID-19 today after one of his staff members tested positive for the coronavirus.

The staff member has been travelling with O’Toole.

“While he hasn’t shown symptoms, Mr. O’Toole and his family are being tested out of an abundance of caution. Other staff who were travelling with Mr. O’Toole are also being tested and will be self-isolating,” reads a statement from the Conservatives.

The statement said O’Toole’s office is contacting everyone he’s met with recently.

“My family and I are feeling well, but we take COVID-19 very seriously. Today was going to be Jack’s first day back at school, but instead we will be getting tested and self-isolating per public health guidelines. The health and safety of my family and all Canadians is my top priority,” reads a statement from the Conservative leader.

Bloc Québécois Leader Yves-François Blanchet is isolating alongside his wife, Nancy Déziel, after she tested positive for COVID-19.

A member of the Parliamentary Protective Service (PPS) also tested positive on Sept. 10.

The cases come as Parliament is set to resume next week.

Health Minister Patty Hajdu said she hopes these incidents lead MPs to consider virtual voting and a hybrid model for Parliament.

“I think it’s a very real concern, because of course the nature of our work means we come into contact with people who may be in contact with other people,” she told a media scrum during a cabinet retreat in Ottawa today. “We travel frequently for work, we move from one zone to another.”

In his first meeting with a premier since winning the party leadership, O’Toole sat down with Quebec Premier François Legault on Monday. Today, Legault tweeted that because O’Toole is not showing any symptoms, he represents a low-risk exposure, according to public health authorities.

Legault said he will follow public health recommendations and self-monitor for symptoms, but he is not required to self-isolate.