An employee in the office of US Vice President Mike Pence, the pointman for Washington's response to the coronavirus outbreak, tested positive for the disease, a spokeswoman said on Friday.
"Neither President Trump nor Vice President Pence have been in close contact with the person. Further contact tracking is ongoing," said Pences spokeswoman Katie Miller.
Pence appeared on Trump's side at the White House daily press conferences to announce developments in the U.S. fight against the outbreak.
It was the latest case of COVID-19 that grazed the inner circle of the U.S. leadership.
A participant in a political conference with Trump and Pence last month tested positive for the disease, and several political figures who meet regularly with the President and Vice President have gone into the preventive self-quarantine.
Trump tested negative for the novel corona virus last week. He agreed to the test after coming into contact with several members of a Brazilian presidential delegation who had visited his Florida resort and have had the virus since then.
The news came when the number of COVID-19 deaths in the US rose to 216 – more than doubling in three days – with more than 16,600 confirmed infections, according to Johns Hopkins University.
New York and Illinois California followed on Friday to curb the coronavirus pandemic and effectively cordon off America's largest cities New York, Los Angeles and Chicago.
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