Two days after attending an election night watch party with other local officials, Bexar County Judge Nelson Wolff said he was self-quarantining after a County employee he came in contact with tested positive for the novel coronavirus.

“Although I have been working remotely for the most part and was not in direct or prolonged contact with this staff member, it is still considered a mild exposure,” Wolff said in a statement Thursday. “Accordingly, out of an abundance of caution, I am voluntarily self-quarantining and self-monitoring while continuing to work remotely. I have also taken a COVID test and am awaiting the results, but do not have any symptoms at this time.”

Wolff said he found out about the County employee’s positive test result on Wednesday. On Tuesday, he joined around 20 people – including Mayor Ron Nirenberg – at Augie’s Barbed Wire Smokehouse on North St. Mary’s Street where they watched for results on the local ballot propositions. The event was held outdoors with a roof covering the patio area. Wolff, like the other people in attendance, wore a face mask.

Wolff said that members of his office and anyone else who had been potentially exposed had been notified. It was unclear if that included guests at the election night watch party he attended.

The CDC recommends individuals who have been exposed to the virus to stay at home for 14 days and maintain 6 feet of distance from all other people, as well as self-monitor for symptoms. Exposure is defined as being within 6 feet of a coronavirus-positive person for 15 minutes or more, whether or not they were wearing a mask.

County spokeswoman Monica Ramos said Wolff interacted with the coronavirus-positive employee earlier this week for less than 10 minutes while both were masked and more than 6 feet away from each other. It was unclear if the interaction happened before Election Day.

Wolff, who is 80 years old and therefore considered at higher risk if he contracts the virus, said he would be following all of those guidelines while self-quarantining. Staff members waiting on their own test results will work remotely for now, he said.

“This latest incident underscores how persistent this virus can be,” Wolff said in a statement. “I cannot emphasize enough how important it is to make sure we all wear our masks, use hand sanitizer, and practice social distance. We must keep our guard up and keep on with precautionary measures.”

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Jackie Wang

Jackie Wang covered local government for the San Antonio Report.