White House imposes guest restrictions amid new coronavirus concerns


Posted on: March 6th, 2020 by ABC News No Comments

Oleg Albinsky/iStock(WASHINGTON) — The White House said Friday – that like many workplaces around the U.S. – it’s giving increased attention to workplace health safety standards amid concerns over the novel coronavirus and implementing enhanced procedures to avoid disrupting the “business of leading our Nation.”

Some of the procedures are standard, including increased cleaning of high-traffic areas and educating staff on best hygiene practices and sick leave policies.

But less orthodox is a request that staff take into account Centers for Disease Control and Prevention travel advisories before bringing guests into the White House complex and a procedure by which guests must disclose the countries they’ve visited in the last 30 days, a White House official confirms.

White House press secretary Stephanie Grisham issued a statement on the procedures being put in place.

“The White House Complex has, and will continue to reassess circumstances and adopt new processes and safe practices in line with evolving [federal agency] guidance to include: educating staff on hygiene best practices, existing sick day & telework policies, increased cleaning routines for high-traffic areas, and asking staff to be alert to the CDC & DoS’ (Department of State) current set of international health & travel advisories when scheduling meetings or travel, and inviting people onto the complex,” she said.

“While we are taking every common-sense precaution necessary to protect federal employees, our policies and procedures remain in line with the President’s guidance to the country – and that is to continue to do everything we can to avoid disruptions to the day-to-day business of leading our Nation,” Grisham said in her statement.

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