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D.C. Health Dept. Urges Anyone Who Attended Rose Garden Event To Take COVID-19 Test

WASHINGTON (AP) — In a unprecedented step, the Washington, D.C., Department of Health has launched an open letter interesting to all White House workers and anybody who attended a Sept. 26 occasion within the Rose Garden to hunt medical recommendation and take a COVID-19 take a look at.

The letter signifies a insecurity within the White House medical group’s personal contact tracing efforts concerning an ongoing virus outbreak that has contaminated President Donald Trump, a number of senior workers members and two U.S. senators, amongst others.

Co-signed by 9 different native well being departments from neighboring jurisdictions in Maryland and Virginia, the letter flatly states a perception that contact tracing on the outbreak has been inadequate.

It says the general public enchantment relies on, “our preliminary understanding that there has been limited contact tracing performed to date, there may be other staff and residents at risk for exposure to COVID positive individuals.”

It asks all White House workers, anybody who attended the Sept. 26 occasion and anybody who could have been in touch with these folks to “contact your local health department for further guidance/questions regarding your potential need to quarantine.”

The letter represents a rising degree of concern and a transparent shift in technique by Mayor Muriel Bowser’s authorities, which had beforehand remained publicly hands-off and stated it trusted the White House’s sturdy medical operation to deal with its personal contact tracing and follow-up.

Bowser stated earlier this week that repeated makes an attempt to contact the White House over the outbreak had obtained a “very cursory” response however that she believed the required steps had been being taken.

“There are established public health protocols at the White House that are federal in nature,” Bowser stated on Monday. “We assume that those protocols have been engaged.”

A Health Department spokeswoman didn’t reply to questions on whether or not the letter had been immediately despatched to any White House workers or individuals who attended the Sept. 26 occasion, or if the D.C. authorities had been supplied with an inventory of attendees.

In this Sept. 26, 2020, picture President Donald Trump, heart, stands with Judge Amy Coney Barrett as they arrive for a information convention to announce Barrett as his nominee to the Supreme Court, within the Rose Garden on the White House in Washington. (AP Photo/Alex Brandon)

The transfer highlights the general public well being dilemma confronted by Bowser’s authorities concerning the present outbreak. The Trump White House has operated for months in open violation of a number of D.C. virus laws, internet hosting a number of gatherings that exceeded the native 50-person restrict and by which many contributors didn’t put on masks.

It shines an extra highlight on the Sept. 26 Rose Garden ceremony to introduce Trump’s Supreme Court nominee, Amy Coney Barrett. Multiple attendees, together with Trump and Notre Dame University President Rev. John Jenkins, who flew in from Indiana for the ceremony, have now examined constructive.

Washington’s native virus laws don’t apply on federal property, however the present outbreak has blurred these distinctions. Trump inner-circle members like former counselor Kellyanne Conway, who has additionally examined constructive, are D.C. residents, as are lots of the staffers, workers, Secret Service members and journalists who’ve had shut contact with contaminated officers.

White House spokesman Judd Deere stated Monday that the White House “has established a robust contact tracing program led by the White House Medical Unit with CDC integration to provide appropriate recommendations.”

On Wednesday, White House deputy press secretary Brian Morgenstern detailed the in-house contact tracing regime to reporters.

“We look back 48 hours to find people who may have been within six feet (of an infected person) for at least 15 minutes. And the purpose is to mitigate further transmission of the virus, correct? It’s not to go back and identify patients zero. I understand that people are very curious about that I’m curious too,” he stated. “It’s sort of an unknowable question as to where it entered the environment.”

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