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At least 15, including U.S. Secretary Buttigieg, test positive for COVID after Michigan conference

Rick Pluta
U.S. Secretary of Transportation Pete Buttigieg speaks at the 2022 Mackinac Policy Conference.

At least 15 people, including U.S. Secretary of Transportation Pete Buttigieg have tested positive for COVID-19 after hobnobbing at a political conference.

Politicians, journalists and lobbyists returned Friday from the annual Mackinac Policy Conference which is hosted by the Detroit Regional Chamber of Commerce.

In order to attend indoor events, the more than 1,300 conference participants and support staff members were required to submit proof of a negative PCR test or be fully vaccinated with at least a second shot of a two-dose vaccine or one dose of Johnson & Johnson. Masks were not required.

The 15 people who are known to have tested positive thus far are asymptomatic or have mild symptoms according to an update from the Chamber mid-day Monday. The Chamber asks anyone who tests positive since attending the conference to notify the business group by calling or texting 313-550-7827.

A spokesman for Michigan Governor Gretchen Whitmer, another attendee, says the governor took a rapid COVID-19 test Monday morning that came back negative. Michigan Secretary of State Jocelyn Benson and Michigan Attorney General Dana Nessel have also tested negative since returning from Mackinac, spokeswomen confirmed.

Data shows vaccines reduce the risk of getting the novel coronavirus and of contracting severe symptoms.

Sarah Lehr is a politics and civics reporter for WKAR News.
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