The White House is requiring all staffers to wear masks or facial coverings when entering the West Wing of the building, NBC News reported Monday, citing two sources familiar with the matter.
The new precaution comes days after two staffers close to President Donald Trump and Vice President Mike Pence tested positive for the coronavirus.
Trump and Pence have both resisted wearing masks in public or at the White House.
The directive from the White House management office was laid out in a memo to staffers Monday afternoon, NBC reported. The White House said it will make masks available for employees who need them, according to NBC.
The memo also asked staff members to avoid visiting the West Wing, where the Oval Office is located, unless it is necessary, the sources told NBC.
Trump and Pence have both resisted wearing masks in public or at the White House. Trump did not wear a mask last week while touring a Honeywell factory in Phoenix, Arizona, that was producing N95 masks. A White House official said at the time that Honeywell had told the White House that Trump and other visitors did not need to wear masks.
When asked Friday at a roundtable event with Republican members of Congress why White House staffers were not seen wearing masks by the reporters stationed at the building, Trump said, “They are … the people that are serving me are.”
Pence was criticized for refusing to wear a mask during an April 28 visit to the Mayo Clinic. The vice president did wear a mask two days later, during a visit to a General Motors plant in Indiana.