On Friday, in a statement, White House confirmed that an official of US vice-president Mike Pence’s staff tested positive for the deadly coronavirus. The statement added that neither the President nor the vice-president had come in direct contact with the staffer.
“This evening we were notified that a member of the Office of the Vice President tested positive for the Coronavirus,” Pence’s spokesperson Katie Miller said in a statement, adding, significantly, “Neither President Trump nor Vice President Pence had close contact with the individual.”
The government and health authorities are urging businesses to give their employees work from home to contain the spread of COVID-19. The Chinese city of Wuhan, which was the epicenter of the virus, is said to have flattened the curve by strict self-isolation and social distancing. Most states in the United States have issued work from home orders and are self-isolating themselves in their homes, barring essential services workers and trips to grocery and drug stores.
Last week, the US president got himself tested after getting possibly exposed to the novel virus by a visiting delegation from Brazil he had hosted and who had later tested positive. Trump tested negative for COVID-19. However, vice-president Pence has not yet been tested.
So far, over 230 people have died in the US and thousands have been infected. Illinois, Florida and Connecticut states joined California and New York Friday with stay-at-home and similar measures restricting the movement of residents, non-essential businesses and workers.