Sen. Fuller Clark’s Husband Tests Positive for COVID-19

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Courtesy

Sen. Martha Fuller Clark, D-Portsmouth

Editor’s note: This story will be updated when more information is obtained from the state. The following is a news release issued by the state Senate.

Updated at 4 p.m. to include letter from House Speaker Steve Shurtleff and Senate President Donna Soucy to legislators.

From InDepthNH.org staff

CONCORD— State Sen. Martha Fuller Clark, D-Portsmouth, released information Saturday that her husband, Dr. Geoffrey Clark, has tested positive for COVID-19, according to a Senate news release.

While she is at risk, she has not yet experienced symptoms, the release said. To the extent members of the public were in close contact with Sen. Fuller Clark between March 7 and March 15, they should follow the below state guidelines to protect themselves and others: 

Division of Public Health Services Self-Quarantine Guide: https://www.nh.gov/covid19/residents/documents/self-quarantine-covid.pdf 

Division of Public Health Services Self-Observation Guide: https://www.nh.gov/covid19/residents/documents/self-observation-covid.pdf  

“While my husband is feeling under the weather, his symptoms are not critical and we have been in self-isolation since Tuesday,” Fuller Clark said.

“After my husband received the positive test result today, we felt it was our responsibility to inform the public so that others may take the necessary precautions to self-observe and self-quarantine as necessary,” she said.

One person who is also self-isolating at home as a result is state Sen. Dr. Tom Sherman, D-Rye.

Sherman said he is self-isolating now until Friday because he drove Fuller Clark to Concord one day during the period in question and is following the recommended guidelines.

Sherman, a gastroenterologist, said he is busier than usual trying to help constituents by phone and email.

His message for all has been all along to please stay home. “I’m open for business,” Sherman said. “And happy to help.” He can be reached at 603-271-8631 and email is Tom.Sherman@leg.state.nh.us

Background: 

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) describes that persons at risk for contracting the illness is primarily for those who have had close personal contact. Close personal contact is defined as: 

a) being within approximately 6 feet (2 meters) of a person with COVID-19 for a prolonged period of time; close contact can occur while caring for, living with, visiting, or sharing a health care waiting area or room with a COVID-19 case or; 

b) having direct contact with infectious secretions of a COVID-19 case (e.g., being coughed on). 

It is important to note that simply being in a room or building with a person with COVID-19 does not qualify as close contact. 

Letter sent Saturday from House Speaker Steve Shurtleff and Senate President Donna Soucy to legislators.


Dear Colleagues,

We write to share information that the spouse of Senator Martha Fuller Clark, Dr. Geoffrey E Clark, has tested positive for COVID-19. Neither of them have recently traveled overseas or had any contact with any individual who has tested positive for COVID-19. While she is not symptomatic, she is at increased risk. She is carefully monitoring her own health and has chosen to further self-isolate herself from her husband, meaning no direct personal contact. Neither of them have had any interaction with another person since last Monday afternoon. Please see her press statement attached. 

Senator Fuller Clark was last at the State House complex on Friday, March 13th. The Senator and her husband would like to stress they are not critically ill and have taken all necessary precautions to self-isolate since becoming symptomatic.

Given this information, we feel it is important to share accurate information about the risk of exposure that may exist for other members and staff. 

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) describes that persons at risk for contracting the illness is primarily for those who have had close personal contact. Close personal contact is defined as:

a) being within approximately 6 feet (2 meters) of a person with COVID-19 for a prolonged period of time; close contact can occur while caring for, living with, visiting, or sharing a health care waiting area or room with a COVID-19 case or;

b) having direct contact with infectious secretions of a COVID-19 case (e.g., being coughed on).

It is important to note that simply being in a room or building with a person with COVID-19 does not qualify as close contact.

The CDC recommends that persons who have been in close contact to monitor their health and call their health care provider if they develop symptoms suggestive of COVID-19 (e.g., fever, cough, shortness of breath). 

In accordance with the recommendations from the NH Division of Public Health Services, if you were in close contact with this individual last week, please follow guidance on how to self-quarantine which can be found here.

For others who were in the State House complex but did not have direct, close contact with the member, please follow the NH Division of Public Health Services’ recommendations on self-observation which can be found here.

At this time, we also want to share DHHS’s updated testing guidelines which were announced yesterday. For more information on coronavirus in New Hampshire, please visit https://www.nh.gov/covid19/

We know these situations are changing and evolving quickly and we appreciate your patience and understanding as we make sure we get out to you the most relevant and accurate information.

If you have any other questions or concerns please do not reply to this email but send them to your respective Chiefs of Staff. Members of the House and Senate can also use this DPHS hotline if you have additional questions – 271-4496.

Sincerely,

Donna Soucy

Steve Shurtleff

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