Puerto Rico Gov. Wanda Vázquez canceled all of her engagements on Wednesday as a precaution after learning that Health Secretary Lorenzo González had tested positive for Covid-19.
Vázquez met with González on Tuesday to discuss possible changes to her Covid-19 response executive order, which includes a nightly curfew and an islandwide mask mandate. The order is set to expire Friday.
Mariana Cobián, a spokesperson for the governor, said in a Spanish-language statement that Vázquez arrived from a trip to New York last Thursday, where she met with officials from the Department of Health and Human Services and the Federal Emergency Management Agency to discuss Puerto Rico's coronavirus response.
The governor has been tested for Covid-19 twice since arriving from New York. Both came back negative. Vázquez took her most recent test Tuesday afternoon after meeting with González, Cobián said.
Vázquez is "asymptomatic and will continue to work remotely," said Cobián, adding that the governor is expected to self-quarantine for about a week and will take a third Covid-19 test.
González said he will also remain in quarantine as he continues to recover from the virus and will work remotely as long as his symptoms don't worsen.
The health secretary's diagnosis comes as Puerto Rico recorded 490 new coronavirus cases on Tuesday, increasing the total of confirmed cases to 27,629. At least 561 people have died of Covid-19 on the island, according to Puerto Rico's Health Department. Currently 343 who have the coronavirus are hospitalized.
While Puerto Rico has been experiencing a slight decrease in coronavirus cases and deaths for the past two weeks, according to NBC News' coronavirus tally, health experts on the island warn that the number of cases and hospitalizations may rise in upcoming weeks due to large gatherings for Halloween and Thanksgiving.
Under the governor's current executive order, Puerto Ricans need to abide by a daily 10 p.m. to 5 a.m. curfew and the mask mandate. Businesses such as restaurants, car dealerships, churches and funeral homes can operate at 50 percent. Others such as casinos, gyms, cinemas, recreational areas and swimming pools can operate at 25 percent capacity "with the strict precautionary and cleaning measures."
Cobián said that any potential changes to the executive order will be announced by the governor remotely this week.