Doctor Anthony Fauci, a key member of the White House's Coronavirus Task Force and the director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, told CNN on Friday that he will be putting himself under "modified quarantine" because he has been exposed to a White House staffer who tested positive for novel coronavirus. Fauci stressed that the exposure was "low risk" because he was not in direct contact with the person while they were known to have the virus.
Even though the exposure was deemed low risk, Fauci has decided to begin a modified version of the quarantine guidelines that are recommended for people who have been exposed to the virus, CBS News reported. He said he is planning to work from home for the next two weeks and will try to do as much of his work as possible via teleconference. Fauci said he would also be wearing a mask as much as possible, even when working from home. If he is required to go to his office at any time, Fauci made it clear that he would go when he would be the only person in the office. CNN reported that Fauci will only go to the White House or Capitol Hill if he absolutely needs to and that he will take all the necessary precautions.According to CNN, other members of the White House's Coronavirus Task Force are also quarantining because of potential exposure to the virus. FDA Commissioner Stephen Hahn and CDC director Robert Redfield both began a strict self-quarantine this week.
White House staff and members of the Coronavirus Task Force are being tested regularly to assess the risk of top-level officials being infected, per CNN. Fauci said that he will now be tested every day. He also noted that as of Friday, his test results were still negative for novel coronavirus.Earlier this week, reports began circulating about White House staff members testing positive for novel coronavirus. So far, it's been reported that Mike Pence's Press Secretary, Katie Miller; President Donald Trump's valet; Ivanka Trump's personal assistant; and several members of the Secret Service have tested positive for novel coronavirus.
According to CNN, the White House emailed all staff members on Friday outlining the extra precautions that they should be taking to prevent the spread of the virus. The email directed staff to work from home as much as possible, carefully monitor their own symptoms, and diligently report all recent travel.
On Thursday, White House staffers received a memo informing them that they would be screened for symptoms before entering the White House complex and that anyone showing symptoms could be prevented from entering, CNN reported.