SALT LAKE CITY, Utah (ABC4 News) – A senior staff member in the Utah Governor’s Office tested positive for COVID-19, Governor Gary Herbert announced Wednesday.

Herbert began his weekly news conference on the pandemic with what he called a “sobering” message.

“It may be a sign of the times or maybe an inevitability because we all know people that are touched by the coronavirus and contract COVID-19,” he said.

The governor said the staff member who tested positive self-isolated on the outset of his symptoms while he was awaiting the results.

Herbert said all staff members who were exposed to the individual are being tested and are currently in self-isolation.

According to the governor, neither he or nor Lt. Governor Spencer Cox were directly exposed to this individual during the time “when the spread of the virus would have been most likely.”

“Since early in the state’s response to the COVID-19 pandemic, all members of my staff have been monitored for symptoms. As they come into the office, they are checked, and they are required to wear face masks at work,” the governor said.

Herbert said all Utahns should be concerned about the increase in the infection rates and the increase in the infections that we have throughout the state. They should be concerned not only because of more cases of the virus but what it does to the state’s potential hospital capacity.

In an appeal to the public, Herbert reminded Utahns that “wearing a face mask is a very effective and low-cost way to prevent the spread of this disease.”