The White House on Monday said randomized COVID-19 testing, which was once voluntary, would be mandatory for staff to “protect the health and safety” of all officials, Fox News has learned.
“As part of our ongoing efforts to protect the health and safety of the entire White House Complex, randomized testing of Executive Office of the President staff, which has been ongoing for several months, will now become mandatory rather than voluntary,” a White House senior official told Fox News Monday.
The move comes after White House National Security Adviser Robert O’Brien tested positive for COVID-19, becoming the highest-ranking administration member to contract the virus.
An administration official told Fox News last week that O’Brien contracted the virus outside of the White House, and had recently traveled to France to meet with President Emmanuel Macron and was also at a family gathering.
O’Brien’s diagnosis came days after a cafeteria and another eatery on White House grounds were shut down due to a worker testing positive for COVID-19. Those locations were in the Eisenhower Executive Office Building, which is home to the National Security Council, although according to the General Services Administration (which oversees the Eisenhower building), the White House Medical Unit was conducting contact tracing and determined that the chance of retransmission of the virus was very low.