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Visit by COVID-infected official closes Washington Monument

Virus Outbreak Washington Monument
Posted at 3:50 PM, Dec 18, 2020
and last updated 2020-12-18 18:50:13-05

The Trump administration has closed the Washington Monument because of a recent visit by Interior Secretary David Bernhardt, who tested positive this week for the coronavirus.

Interior spokesman Nicholas Goodwin says a couple of monument workers were quarantined as a result of Bernhardt's visit, forcing a staffing shortage and the monument's closure.

The Interior Department announced Bernhardt's positive test result for the coronavirus on Wednesday.

An advocacy group for parks criticized Bernhardt, saying he had failed to safeguard park employees overall during the pandemic.

Goodwin said the interior secretary wore a mask and followed other health guidelines throughout the visit.

According to USA Today, Goodwin plans to reopen the monument on Dec. 21.