Republican convention attendees will be required to wear masks, contact tracing badges

Attendees at the Republican National Convention will be required to wear masks and badges that allow them to be tracked through Bluetooth technology, NPR reported Tuesday.

The badges will allow for full contact tracing if anyone is later diagnosed with the coronavirus, Jeffrey Runge, a health consultant for the convention, told the outlet.

“It knows when other badges are close to it. And how long they are close to it. And the identity of who is wearing it is in a database,” Runge said. “No one will ever crack that code, unless somebody gets sick.”

President Trump had earlier envisioned a convention that filled the Spectrum Center in Charlotte, N.C., that did not include physical distancing or masks. When Gov. Roy Cooper (D) resisted the idea, Trump announced the convention would be moved to Jacksonville, Fla. However, as Florida became a hot spot for the virus, the president reversed course and announced a scaled-back convention would be held in Charlotte.

Republicans are set to hold a “business-only” convention in the city, with 336 delegates. Attendees are set to nominate the president for a second term in the Charlotte Convention Center on Aug. 24. Anyone entering the convention will be required to take a self-swab test before traveling and before checking into their hotels.

However, Runge said, the event will still be large and high risk enough to require the extra precautions.

“Again, it doesn’t compare to the event that would have taken place had we had 50,000 people. But it is still a high-risk event. People are coming in from every state in the country,” he told NPR.

Runge said adequate social distancing would also be vital during the event. “The chairs do not move in the meeting rooms,” he said. “The configuration of the meeting room is to be 6 feet apart.”

Tags Contact tracing Coronavirus Donald Trump face masks Republican National Convention Republican National Convention Social distancing

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