Pence to WH staff: Avoid physical contact

Pence to WH staff: Avoid physical contact
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Vice President Mike PenceMichael (Mike) Richard PenceFormer Pence aide: White House staffers discussed Trump refusing to leave office Pence vows for law and order everywhere Trump met with chants of protest as he pays respects to Ruth Bader Ginsburg MORE urged White House staff to "avoid physical contact" and practice “social distancing” amid concerns about the spread of the novel coronavirus, according to an email obtained by Axios.

"With additional cases throughout the National Capital Region, it's imperative each one of us do our part to take the proper precautions to keep ourselves and our colleagues safe,” Pence wrote. 

There are 10 confirmed cases of the virus in Washington, D.C. and more in the neighboring states of Maryland and Virginia. 

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Pence went on to remind staff to wash their hands, disinfect items around them and "stay home if you're sick!"

The email was the first time Pence, who is leading the administration’s response to the coronavirus outbreak, sent a staff-wide email.

On Saturday, Trump announced that he was tested for the coronavirus, after several people in his vicinity were reported as having the virus or being in proximity of it themselves.

Also on Saturday, a White House physician scanned journalists' foreheads with a thermometer before they entered the White House press briefing.

The White House did not immediately respond to a request for comment.