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DHS secretary has 'virtual schedule' after contact with COVID-positive official

Washington Examiner logo Washington Examiner 7/28/2021 Jeremy Beaman
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Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas is keeping his distance after coming into contact with a department official who later tested positive for COVID-19, according to a DHS spokesperson.

The department is performing contact tracing and taking "an overabundance of caution" following the encounter, said Marsha Espinosa, DHS assistant secretary for public affairs.

“Secretary Mayorkas has a virtual schedule this week after coming into close contact with a DHS official who later tested positive for COVID-19,” Espinosa said, according to Politico. “The secretary is fully vaccinated, has no symptoms, and has tested negative twice. Official DHS contact tracing is underway. These recommendations have been informed by the Office of the DHS Chief Medical Officer and are taken in.”

CDC RECOMMENDS UNIVERSAL MASKING IN SCHOOLS

News of Mayorkas's isolation follows a major announcement on Tuesday by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention tightening its masking guidance for fully vaccinated individuals.

The health agency now recommends that vaccinated individuals in places where COVID-19's delta variant is rampant wear masks indoors. Numerous regions across the country — including Los Angeles County, Arkansas, and Alabama — have seen positive case increases in recent weeks as authorities blame both the infectious nature of the delta variant and the remaining numbers of unvaccinated people for the upticks.

“In rare occasions, some vaccinated people infected with the delta variant after vaccination may be contagious and spread the virus to others,” CDC Director Rochelle Walensky said Tuesday. “This new science is worrisome and unfortunately warrants an update to our recommendations.”

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Several congressional Republicans criticized the new CDC guidance Tuesday, saying it would discourage vaccinations and was contrary to the scientific evidence.

"The CDC's updated guidance deeply undermines vaccine confidence," said Washington Rep. Cathy McMorris Rodgers. "Mask mandates for more command and control will not build trust — only resentment."

Tags: News, Alejandro Mayorkas, DHS, Homeland Security, Coronavirus

Original Author: Jeremy Beaman

Original Location: DHS secretary has 'virtual schedule' after contact with COVID-positive official

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