A White House reporter has tested positive for the coronavirus after attending two press briefings this week.
The news follows a national surge in COVID-19 diagnoses, though new cases in Washington, DC, remain low.
White House Correspondents’ Association President Jonathan Karl said in an email that the journalist is asymptomatic and did not linger in press workspaces.
“The individual attended briefings on Monday 7/6 and Wednesday 7/8 afternoons and wore a mask the entire time they were on the White House complex,” Karl wrote.
“The individual is asymptomatic. We are contacting those who the individual recalled being in closer contact. Other than the briefings, this person did not spend time working out of the White House and was only in briefing room itself, not elsewhere in our workspace.”
The White House is offering free tests to reporters who were in proximity to the person.
The diagnosis is one of the first for White House journalists. Many suspected cases early in the pandemic proved to be false alarms.
Journalists at the White House are allowed to pace the West Wing driveway to engage with officials and are allowed to walk through parts of the West Wing that lead to press officer desks. Many White House staffers don’t wear masks.
Previously, aides close to President Trump have caught the deadly virus without passing it on to the commander in chief. In May, a personal valet to Trump and White House coronavirus task force spokeswoman Katie Miller both tested positive.
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