Former Gubernatorial Candidate Christine Hallquist Says She Has Coronavirus | Off Message

Former Gubernatorial Candidate Christine Hallquist Says She Has Coronavirus


Christine Hallquist - JAMES BUCK
  • James Buck
  • Christine Hallquist
Christine Hallquist has the coronavirus.

The 2018 gubernatorial candidate and former Vermont utility executive announced Friday afternoon that she had just received confirmation of her status, five days after she was tested.

"I do have the virus. It has been a brutal week of illness," Hallquist wrote on Twitter and Facebook. "I think I may be through the worst of it. This is my first day fever-free in a week."

In a phone interview Friday evening, Hallquist told Seven Days she had “never experienced anything that comes close to this.”

“I’ve never been this sick,” she said. “Every day it’s touch and go. The fever was running 101 to 103 nonstop. Every day you get up thinking you would be better, but you weren’t.”

Hallquist had been staying in central New York with her elderly mother out of concerns for her mother’s health. She immediately left after showing symptoms on Saturday and said she is now recovering at her sister’s apartment. Hallquist’s sister, meantime, is now staying with their mother, and Hallquist said she is worried that she may have unwittingly infected them.

She said the length of time between her test and diagnosis is “a reflection of how flawed our health system is."

“It takes five days to get your test results back, but meanwhile you’re sick as a dog,” Hallquist said.

Still, in a strange turn of fate, Hallquist said she was actually glad to know her test was positive. Otherwise, she would have been “pretty nervous” about what was ailing her.

Nearly 680 other Vermonters have also tested positive for the virus. Twenty-four have died.
Hallquist's diagnosis grants her the unenviable title of Vermont's most well-known COVID-19 patient, though she is not the first in the Green Mountain political community to come down with the disease.

Vermont lawmakers this week mourned the death of their former colleague, Bernie Juskiewicz, who served on the legislature from 2013 to 2018 and died Wednesday from coronavirus-related complications.

Hallquist received an outpouring of support in response to her announcement, including from her 2018 gubernatorial rival, Gov. Phil Scott.

Hallquist responded by thanking Scott and commending him for the "excellent work" to lead "Vermont out of this terrible crisis."