White House conducts contact tracing after cafeteria worker tests positive for coronavirus

Cover Image
Photo credit Getty Images
By 1010 WINS

NEW YORK (1010 WINS) -- The White House is conducting contact tracing after a cafeteria worker in the building on White House grounds that houses most of the administration's staff tested positive for coronavirus, according to reports.

The Eisenhower Executive Office Building houses "a majority of offices for White House staff," according to the White House website. This includes senior staff, including officials from the coronavirus task force, the vice president’s office, the National Security Council and several economic policy groups.

The cafeteria, Ike's Eatery, has been temporarily closed. It is unknown when it will reopen, but NBC News reported that some workers were told it could remain closed for two weeks.

An internal email, which was obtained by CNN, told staff "there is no reason for panic or alarm," claiming the risk of transmission was low because of protocols in place, such as gloves and masks. Staffers were also told no executive office staff need to quarantine.

Part of the White House complex, the building is across West Executive Ave. from the West Wing.

The White House referred comment on the situation to the General Services Administration, which maintains the building.

“All proper protocols were in place by the vendor including masks, gloves, plastic shielding at check out, and no dine-in service,” a GSA spokesperson told NBC News. “The White House Medical Unit has done contact tracing and determined that the risk of retransmission is low.”

The GSA declined to say how long Ike's will be closed or how many people may have been potentially exposed to the worker in question.