National Guard chief negative in third coronavirus test

National Guard Bureau chief tests negative for coronavirus after initial positive result

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By Rebecca Kheel

Coronavirus scares hit the upper echelons of the military over the weekend.

On Saturday afternoon, National Guard chief Gen. Joseph Lengyel tested positive for the virus — but in a second test later on Saturday, he tested negative.

On Monday, Lengyel took a third test to confirm his status, and tested negative.

“Thank you to all who have expressed concern for my health and safety,” Lengyel said in a statement. “I am happy to continue to focus on the efforts of the 46,000 Guardsmen and women who are battling this pandemic in the 50 states, three territories and District of Columbia.”

Meanwhile, Chief of Naval Operations Adm. Michael Gilday is self-quarantining after coming into contact with a family member who tested positive. Gilday tested negative Friday, but is quarantining as a precaution.

Not just the military: Lengyel and Gilday’s close calls came amid new cases at the White House and Senate.

Last week, a military member who serves as one of President Trump’s personal valets and Vice President Pence’s press secretary, Katie Miller, both tested positive for the virus.

Following those cases, White House officials working in the West Wing are being asked to wear masks to help prevent the spread of the coronavirus, according to a memo distributed to staffers on Monday.

Officials in the building are being asked to wear face coverings when they’re not at their desks or able to maintain social distancing from others, a White House official confirmed to The Hill.

The memo, which was obtained by The Hill, also urges staffers to “avoid unnecessary visits” to the White House.

In the Senate, the office of Sen. Lamar Alexander (R-Tenn.) said Sunday he will self-quarantine after a staff member tested positive for the coronavirus.

David Cleary, Alexander’s chief of staff, said the GOP senator had no symptoms and had tested negative for the coronavirus on Thursday. The staff member, according to Cleary, tested positive for the coronavirus on Sunday.

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