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Michael Ford, Doug Ford's nephew, walks past the Mayor's office at City Hall, in Toronto on Feb. 14, 2014.Chris Young/The Globe and Mail

Toronto City Councillor Michael Ford, the nephew of Ontario’s Premier, says he has tested positive for COVID-19 – the first known local politician in Canada’s largest city to contract the novel coronavirus.

In a brief e-mailed statement, the councillor for Etobicoke North, a suburban ward in the city’s northwest, said he found out on Tuesday morning that he had tested positive for the coronavirus that causes COVID-19.

“I have been self-isolating and will continue to do so over the next 14 days as I work from home to participate virtually in city business and committee meetings, and to continue serving the residents of Etobicoke North,” the statement reads. “I am feeling well and will continue to remain in constant contact with Toronto Public Health.”

A spokeswoman for Premier Doug Ford said he has “not been in contact” with his nephew over the past two weeks. “The Premier remains in good health,” Ivana Yelich said in an e-mail. “We wish councillor Ford a speedy recovery.”

Through a spokesman, Michael Ford declined an interview request.

He was first elected to council in 2016, when he left his seat as a school trustee to run in a by-election to replace his uncle, Rob Ford, who had died of cancer. Rob had retreated to his former council seat after his health prompted him to abandon his re-election bid as Toronto’s mayor.

Fellow councillors on Twitter wished Michael well, including left-leaning downtown councillor Joe Cressy.

“Michael is a fundamentally decent & kind man,” Mr. Cressy wrote. “We spoke this evening, and as usual he’s in good spirits. Join me in wishing him a quick recovery. We need him back soon at City Hall so I have someone to spar with.”

With a report from Laura Stone

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