Coronavirus-positive racer from Minnesota removed from Iditarod race

Organizers say a veteran Iditarod musher was removed from the race Wednesday after he tested positive for the coronavirus.

The organizers say Gunnar Johnson, 52, of Duluth, Minnesota, was withdrawn from the event at the McGrath, Alaska, checkpoint.

Iditarod Race Marshal Mark Nordman, working with epidemiologist Dr. Jodie Guest, made the decision to remove Johnson, who is asymptomatic, based on the rules set in the race’s COVID-19 mitigation plan.

The organizers say Johnson is incredibly disappointed and felt his dog team looked great. Johnson had 14 dogs racing with him.

After the positive test, Johnson was removed from the checkpoint area and taken off the trail.