Capitol physician considers recommending masks again due to Delta variant

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“I thought for a moment that you were all standing on your dots again,” he told masked and unmasked reporters Thursday, gesturing to the circular yellow stickers that still dot on the floor of the Senate basement, each 6 feet apart, that read “thanks for practicing social distancing.”

“But I guess we might have to go back to some of that,” he added.

Blunt was an advocate for a widespread testing regimen at the Capitol, similar to daily tests implemented at the White House. But the Capitol never mandated testing and took a piecemeal approach to enforcement of public health measures.

Some staff and lawmakers are already masking up in response to news earlier this week that several fully vaccinated people within the Capitol have tested positive for Covid. Lines at the Capitol Hill testing site intermittently stretched around the corner this week, as many staffers got tested at work for the first time after working remotely during the peak of the pandemic.

In a letter to Hill offices Tuesday, Attending Physician Dr. Brian Monahan warned that the Delta variant is “much more contagious” and poses “a dire health risk to unvaccinated individuals.”

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