Cleveland Officials Link 11 Positive COVID-19 Tests To Debate

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Adam Barnes General Assignment Reporter
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At least 11 positive COVID-19 cases can be linked to the first presidential debate organizers, Cleveland officials said Friday.

The news comes on the heels of President Donald Trump’s announcement that he and First Lady Melania Trump tested positive for the virus early Friday morning, NBC reported. Trump was transported via Marine 1 to Walter Reed National Military Medical Center Friday evening “out of an abundance of caution.”

“The City of Cleveland is aware of positive cases of Covid-19 following the Sept. 29 presidential debate,” according to a City Hall statement. “We advise anyone who has come in contact with someone who has tested positive to self quarantine. If anyone who was in attendance has concerns or is symptomatic, they should contact their healthcare provider.”

Cleveland Clinic, which hosted the debate, said prior to the announcement that it believed due to safety measures that guests would be safe from the virus, NBC added.

“Based on what we know about the virus and the safety measures we had in place, we believe there is low risk of exposure to our guests,” the Cleveland Clinic said in a statement. “Out of an abundance of caution we are reaching out to our guests to address any questions and concerns. We will continue to monitor the information being released by the White House.”

The city said in a statement Friday that it was working to trace the spread and contacting attendees, including those traveling from out of state and issuing isolation orders when necessary.

“It is important to note that everyone affiliated with the debate – with credentials to be in the event perimeter – was tested upon arrival. Only those with negative test results were allowed within the pavilion.” the city’s statement said. “While CDPH was not on-site for the debate, we were in contact with organizers and those responsible for enforcing safety measures inside the venue.”

Prior to the president’s departure on Marine 1, White House Press Secretary Kayleigh McEnany said in a statement that Trump’s stint at Walter Reed was a precautionary measure. (RELATED: Barron Trump, Ivanka Trump, Jared Kushner All Test Negative For Coronavirus)

“President Trump remains in good spirits, has mild symptoms, and has been working throughout the day,” McEnany said in a statement. “Out of an abundance of caution and at the recommendation of his physicians and medical experts, the president will be working from the presidential offices at Walter Reed for the next few days.”