The White House Correspondents Association has rearranged the seating in the White House briefing room to increase social distancing and prevent the spread of coronavirus.
There will now be one seat left empty between each reporter who attends.
Our new normal: This is the White House briefing room where @VP, @realDonaldTrump, and officials give us the latest on #CoronavirusOutbreak. Only every other seat can be occupied starting today, per @whca. #SocialDistancing pic.twitter.com/eE22srno4N
— Weijia Jiang (@weijia) March 16, 2020
The WHCA announced the revised seating chart on Sunday evening and told reporters that they should work remotely if at all possible.
“We understand these restrictions are deeply disruptive to our members and their ability to do their jobs,” WHCA President Jon Karl said in a statement. “But we are forced to take these steps to do our part to ensure that there is a healthy pool available to cover the president and inform the public during this critical time.”
New social distancing measures in the White House press room. pic.twitter.com/mIJjdUE9nD
— Jeff Mason (@jeffmason1) March 16, 2020
The changes come amid other efforts to prevent those with the virus from entering the White House, including temperature screenings.
The @whca has issued a revised seating chart for the White House briefing room in order to encourage social distancing during the coronavirus pandemic. pic.twitter.com/0dLB9mGH5F
— Gregory Korte (@gregorykorte) March 16, 2020
The Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) warned against gatherings larger than 50 people for the next eight weeks.