(CBS) — Six Trump campaign staffers on the advance team for the president’s rally in Tulsa, Oklahoma on Saturday have tested positive for the coronavirus, the Trump campaign confirmed to CBS News. According to the campaign, the staffers were immediately quarantined and will not have contact with any rally attendees.
“Per safety protocols, campaign staff are tested for COVID-19 before events. Six members of the advance team tested positive out of hundreds of tests performed, and quarantine procedures were immediately implemented,” Trump campaign communications director Tim Murtaugh said in a statement. “No COVID-positive staffers or anyone in immediate contact will be at today’s rally or near attendees and elected officials. As previously announced, all rally attendees are given temperature checks before going through security, at which point they are given wristbands, facemasks and hand sanitizer.”
The rally, Trump’s first since March, is taking place at the Bank of Oklahoma Center, which holds 19,000 people, with an additional stage in the outdoor area adjacent to the venue that can hold several thousand more. Health experts have raised concerns about having so many people gathered in one place, particularly as the number of coronavirus cases continues to rise in Oklahoma and several other states.
Although the campaign will be providing masks for rally attendees, it will not be mandatory to wear them. Several people waiting outside the Bank of Oklahoma Center ahead of the rally told CBS News they would not be wearing masks at the event. The online registration page for the rally included a legal disclaimer for attendees to acknowledge “that an inherent risk of exposure to COVID-19 exists in any public place where people are present.”