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University of Notre Dame president tests positive for COVID-19

Rev. John Jenkins
Posted at 1:02 PM, Oct 02, 2020
and last updated 2020-10-02 13:51:18-04

SOUTH BEND — University of Notre Dame President Rev. John Jenkins has tested positive for COVID-19, the university announced in a statement Friday.

He was tested for the virus after a colleague he has been in regular contact with tested positive, according to the statement. He will enter an "extended period of isolation."

“My symptoms are mild and I will continue work from home,” Jenkins said in the statement. “The positive test is a good reminder for me and perhaps for all of how vigilant we need to be."

Jenkins was seen without a mask Saturday at the White House for the Supreme Court nomination of Notre Dame professor Judge Amy Coney Barrett.

ABC News reports a senior White House official says the judge tested negative for COVID-19 Friday and has been testing negative during daily tests.

“Judge Barrett is tested daily for COVID-19 and she has been testing negative,” the official told ABC News.

MORE INFO | Supreme Court nominee Amy Coney Barrett contracted COVID-19 this summer, reports say

In a statement Monday, Jenkins said he began to quarantine "in an abundance of caution" in accordance with university protocols.

After receiving a negative COVID-19 test before the ceremony, Jenkins said he was told it was safe to remove his mask.

"I regret my error of judgment in not wearing a mask during the ceremony and by shaking hands with a number of people in the Rose Garden," he said in the statement. "I failed to lead by example, at a time when I’ve asked everyone else in the Notre Dame community to do so. I especially regret my mistake in light of the sacrifices made on a daily basis by many, particularly our students, in adjusting their lives to observe our health protocols."

The Observer, a student-run newspaper at the university, reports a student petition is calling for his resignation after Jenkins appeared to breach the university's health and safety protocols.

This story will be updated.