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'No Reason for Panic': Worker on White House Grounds Has Virus

Cafeteria worker at Eisenhower Executive Office Building tests positive
By Evann Gastaldo,  Newser Staff
Posted Jul 23, 2020 12:34 AM CDT

(Newser) – "There is no reason for panic or alarm." So reads an email sent to administration officials Wednesday after a cafeteria worker at the White House complex tested positive for COVID-19, CNN reports. Both the cafeteria and an eatery in the Eisenhower Executive Office Building, located across the street from the White House, have been temporarily closed, and contact tracing is being conducted, NBC News reports. No executive office staff need to quarantine due to exposure, officials say.

"All proper protocols were in place by the vendor including masks, gloves, plastic shielding at check out, and no dine-in service," a General Services Administration spokesperson says. "The White House Medical Unit has done contact tracing and determined that the risk of retransmission is low." The West Wing has its own cafeteria, but dozens of President Trump's staffers reportedly walk over to Ike's Eatery for meals. Many senior White House staff work in offices in the building, including coronavirus task force officials, the vice president's staffers, the National Security Council, and more. (Read more coronavirus stories.)

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