White House staff to wear masks in West Wing: report

Staffers also being asked to 'avoid unnecessary visits' to White House

Anadolu Agency May 12, 2020

WASHINGTON: White House staffers working in the West Wing are being asked to wear masks after two individuals working there tested positive for the novel coronavirus, according to a report published Monday.

The officials are being asked to wear face coverings whenever it is not possible to remain six feet apart from another individual, an internal memo obtained by the Hill website states.

The directive also urges staffers to "avoid unnecessary visits" to the White House, the Hill said.

"We continue to encourage all [executive office of the president] staff to use a facial covering whenever social distancing is not possible," the memo says.

The new protocols are being instituted just days after two individuals who work with senior officials, including one of whom that works closely with President Donald Trump, tested positive.

White House military aide tests positive for coronavirus

The White House announced Thursday that Trump's personal valet, a member of an elite military unit that often works very close to the president and the first family, tested positive.

The following day Katie Miller, Vice President Mike Pence's spokeswoman and wife of senior aide Stephen Miller, tested positive for Covid-19.

Devin O'Malley, another Pence representative, said the vice president "has tested negative every single day" and planned to visit the White House on Monday.

The developments come as Trump and his top officials continue to urge states to reopen amid a historic downturn in the US economy caused by virus-related business closures.