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Coronavirus Update

Pence Chief of Staff Tests Positive for Coronavirus

Vice President Mike Pence talks to the media at Joint Base Andrews, Md., October 5, 2020. (Erin Scott/Reuters)

Vice President Mike Pence’s chief of staff, Marc Short, tested positive for the coronavirus on Saturday, Pence’s office announced.

Pence and his wife Karen both tested negative for the coronavirus on Saturday and “remain in good health,” Pence’s press secretary Devin O’Malley in a statement Saturday, and Short “began quarantine and assisting in the contact tracing process” the same day.

Three more of the vice president’s staff members along with an adviser to Pence have also reportedly tested positive for the virus.

“While Vice President Pence is considered a close contact with Mr. Short, in consultation with the White House Medical Unit, the Vice President will maintain his schedule in accordance with the CDC guidelines for essential personnel,” O’Malley said.

Pence is currently on the campaign trail and held rallies in Lakeland and Tallahassee in Florida on Saturday. Less than two weeks out from the presidential election, he plans to travel to North Carolina, Pennsylvania, and Minnesota soon as well.

Aides who were found to have had close contact with Short were reportedly taken off Pence’s trip before it began.

Short’s positive coronavirus diagnosis, the latest among many senior White House officials who have contracted the virus in recent weeks, comes nearly two weeks after President Trump tested negative for the virus after being hospitalized for several days with the virus earlier this month.

The CDC has recommended that essential workers who have had close contact with an individual who tested positive for the virus wear a mask for 14 days “at all times while in the workplace.”

More than 224,000 people have died after being infected with the coronavirus in the U.S., and more than 8 million people have contracted the virus.

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