In this Sept. 10, 2020, file photo, Gov. Janet Mills is pictured at the State House in Augusta. Credit: Natalie Williams / BDN

Gov. Janet Mills has tested negative for the coronavirus after she was likely exposed during a 10-minute car ride last Saturday by a member of her security detail who later tested positive after starting to show symptoms.

The governor’s office announced the negative test result late Saturday afternoon, using the announcement to credit mask-wearing — by both Mills and the security team member — for preventing the infection.

“Masks work!” Mills said in a statement. “And I’m proof.”

She went on, “If my Executive Protection Unit member had not been wearing a mask last Saturday while I was in the vehicle with them, I firmly believe I would have contracted the virus.”

Mills has been quarantining in the Blaine House since Tuesday, when the security team member first showed symptoms of the virus, and she was tested herself on Thursday. She’ll continue quarantining until Tuesday, 10 days from the day she was exposed, which would line up with new federal guidelines on how long someone should quarantine after coming into contact with someone infected with the virus.

A number of governors — including those from Wyoming, Nevada, Colorado and Virginia — have tested positive for the coronavirus at some point during the pandemic. Another, Gov. Mike DeWine of Ohio, initially tested positive but received a negative result form a followup test.

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