US House of Representatives Speaker Nancy Pelosi said Wednesday that masks will be mandatory in the chamber after another lawmaker tested positive for the coronavirus.
“Members and staff will be required to wear masks at all times in the hall of the House. Except that members may remove their masks, temporarily, when recognized,” said Pelosi.
Her announcement came hours after Louie Gohmert tested positive for coronavirus. The Texas Republican has frequently refused to wear a mask.
Pelosi said those who are not wearing a mask would not be permitted to enter the hall of the House and masks will be available at the entry for any member who forgets to bring one.
“The speaker has the authority to direct the sergeant at arms to remove a member from the floor as a matter of decorum,” she added.
Gohmert tested positive during a White House screening before a planned trip to the state of Texas with US President Donald Trump.
Mario Diaz-Balart tested positive for the novel coronavirus in March, becoming the first lawmaker to contract COVID-19.
At least seven lawmakers have since been infected with the virus that has sickened more than 4.3 million and killed 150,000 across the US.
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