The White House has enacted new coronavirus testing protocols to prevent the spread of the disease and keep it from getting to President Donald Trump and his team.
All staff, Secret Service agents and members of the media had their temperature taken by staff from the White House physician’s office before they could enter the White House complex on Monday morning.
Anyone with a temperature above 99.6 is not being allowed through the gate.
‘Out of an abundance of caution, temperature checks are now being performed on any individuals who are in close contact with the President and Vice President,’ White House deputy press secretary Judd Deere said in a statement.
All staff, Secret Service agents and members of the media had their temperature before being allowed inside the White House complex
New measures are being put into place to protect President Trump from exposure to the coronavirus
Trump, 73, is considered at risk because of his age.
The temperature checks began on Saturday outside the White House press briefing room, where members of the media were checked ahead of a briefing with the president.
One journalist with a temperature of 100.4 was not allowed inside.
The president has tested negative for the disease. He took the test after coming into contact with people who either tested positive – an aide to the president of Brazil during a dinner at Mar-a-Lago – or had contact with people who had contact with those who tested positive, including Congressmen Doug Collins and Matt Gaetz.
Also on Monday, first lady Melania Trump announced the upcoming White House Easter Egg Roll, scheduled for April 13, is canceled.
‘The health and safety of all Americans must be the first priority, especially right now,’ Melania Trump said in a statement. ‘I deeply regret this cancellation, but we need to make difficult decisions in the short-term to ensure a healthy country for the long-term. During this time, I encourage everyone to listen to state and local officials, and follow CDC guidelines in order to help protect the health and well-being of everyone.’
The CDC has advised against any gatherings larger than 50 people for the next eight weeks.
The last time the Easter Egg Roll was canceled was during the Trump administration, when extensive repair work and renovations were being done on the White House.
Additionally, the White House briefing room has its seating reorganized to correspond with ‘social distancing’ procedures recommended by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
There will be one empty seat between each member of the press and news organizations are asked to keep staffing to a minimum, according to a note from the White House Correspondents Association.
And television networks have agreed to ‘pool’ the briefings, meaning only one network has a camera recording it and shares the footage with others to cut down on the number of cameramen and technical crew needed.
On Sunday, the Office of Management and Budget has asked all federal agencies to offer a telework option for employees.
Although telework is not being mandated, it is being highly encouraged.
‘We encourage agencies to use all existing authorities to offer telework to additional employees, to the extent their work could be telework enabled,’ Russell Vought, OMB’s acting director, said Sunday night. ‘If employees are not eligible for telework, agency heads have the discretion to offer weather and safety leave, or the agency’s equivalent, including for employees who may not have been considered ‘at higher risk.”
Seats in the White House briefing room have been reassigned to leave one empty one between each news organizations as part of ‘social distancing’
The line in front of the Northwest Gate of the White House Monday morning as people wait to have their temperature checked before entering the complex
Staff from the White House Physician’s Office check the body temperatures of people entering the White House with a forehead temperature scanner
First lady Melania Trump announced Monday the upcoming Easter Egg Roll is canceled; she, President Trump and the Easter Bunny are seen at the 2019 Easter Egg Roll
The White House did not immediately respond to DailyMail.com’s inquiry as to whether telework was an option for staff.
Additionally, all federal employees are asked to restrict their travel to ‘mission critical’ needs.
But Speaker Nancy Pelosi encouraged lawmakers to embrace social distancing and let their staffs telework.
‘In bipartisan consultation with the Attending Physician and the Sergeant at Arms, and out of an abundance of caution, I am writing to encourage you to take steps to promote social distancing within your Washington, D.C. office as we engage in the District Work Period. This may entail more than half of your Washington staff teleworking from home,’ she wrote in a letter to lawmakers on Sunday.
Both the U.S. Capitol and the White House have ended public tours of their buildings.
The White House has also paused its internship program and closed its Navy Mess Dining Room, where many staffers congregate as they get their daily meals, according to the Associated Press.
The CDC advises people to wash their hands, avoid close contact with others and stay at home if you feel sick.