Mike Pence and Donald Trump
Mike Pence and Donald Trump Reuters

The White House announced on Friday that any person "in close proximity" to President Donald Trump or Vice President Mike Pence will be tested for the novel coronavirus.

“As the Physician to the President and White House Operations continue to protect the health and safety of the President and Vice President, starting today anyone who is expected to be in close proximity to either of them will be administered a COVID-19 test to evaluate for pre-symptomatic or asymptomatic carriers status to limit inadvertent transmission,” deputy press secretary Judd Deere said in a statement quoted by The Hill.

The individuals will receive the same rapid test that Trump referenced during a press briefing on Thursday.

The new measure marks an increased effort by the White House to prevent Trump and Pence from coming in contact with individuals who may be infected with COVID-19.

The White House has already instituted temperature checks for reporters entering the complex and doctors have also taken the temperature of reporters before the daily coronavirus task force briefings begin. Trump has limited his travel, forgoing campaign and fundraising events as the virus has spread across the country.

On Thursday, the White House said that Trump had been tested for coronavirus for a second time and the test came back negative.

The President was first tested for the virus last month after coming into contact with a Brazilian official who later tested positive. That test, too, came back negative.

Trump said on Thursday that he took the rapid point-of-care test, which yielded results in about 15 minutes, out of “curiosity” to see how quickly it worked.

There has only been one known case of coronavirus at the White House: A member of Pence’s staff tested positive for COVID-19 on March 20. Pence and second lady Karen Pence subsequently both tested negative for the virus.

(Arutz Sheva’s North American desk is keeping you updated until the start of Shabbat in New York. The time posted automatically on all Arutz Sheva articles, however, is Israeli time.)

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