November 16, 2020 -- Several dozen Secret Service officers have tested positive for the coronavirus or are in self-isolation after coming into close contact with someone who has tested positive.
Several news outlets have reported different numbers — with potentially more than 130 officers infected or in quarantine. However, even the officers themselves aren’t sure about the exact number because superiors aren’t sharing the information, according to CNN.
All officers who worked during President Donald Trump’s campaign rallies are being tested, the news outlet reported. In the final weeks leading up to the election, Trump held nearly 50 rallies in October after he recovered from COVID-19 himself. Dozens of Secret Service officers staffed the events and traveled with the president and other officials to the rallies.
“The USSS is taking all necessary precaution and putting anyone who is considered close contact in quarantine,” an unnamed official told CNN. “There has been zero impact on the mission. Staffing levels are high enough to manage.”
The Secret Service won’t release specifics about the number of officers who have tested positive or are in quarantine due to privacy and security concerns, CNN reported.
However, three people familiar with agency staffing told The Washington Post that more than 130 officers have been ordered to quarantine, which could mean 10% of the 1,300 officers in the Uniformed Division that guards the White House, president, and vice president.
The current outbreak in the agency is believed to be tied to the recent COVID-19 outbreak in the White House connected to a party on election night, as well as Trump’s final campaign rallies, when he made five campaign stops per day on the last two days, the newspaper reported. On Nov. 2, for instance, five separate Secret Service groups with 20 or more officers served at events in North Carolina, Pennsylvania, Michigan, and Wisconsin.
The outbreak marks the fourth one for the agency this year, according to The New York Times, which said that at least 30 officers have tested positive and 60 have been asked to quarantine.