Coronavirus: Student in quarantine after classmates shook hands with Mike Pence

Mr Pence met with senior cadets from Sarasota Military Academy on Friday, shaking hands with them and posing for photographs

Oliver O'Connell
New York
Tuesday 03 March 2020 16:43
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A Florida student whose classmates met with and touched vice president Mike Pence is now in coronavirus quarantine.

Mr Pence met with senior cadets from Sarasota Military Academy on Friday, shaking hands with them and posing for photographs.

The vice president was visiting the city for a fundraiser at the Longboat Key home of Representative Vern Buchanan, the Herald Tribune reports.

In a statement, the school confirmed that a student and his mother are in quarantine as a precautionary measure.

The mother came into contact with a patient at Sarasota Doctors Hospital in her professional capacity, and that patient has now tested positive for coronavirus.

The Pentagon has been in touch with the school about the student.

Colonel Christina Bowman, executive director of schools at SMA, said: We have been in touch with the Pentagon, so we assured them that particular cadet was not present for that occasion.

Mr Pence’s press secretary, Katie Miller, stresses in a tweet that the vice president did not meet or come into contact with the student.

Neither the student nor his mother are exhibiting symptoms, and the school is in contact with them.

I want our parents and employees to know we are safe, Bowman said. We’ve been proactive on sanitising and teaching our students how to make sure they are washing their hands. We are working with the health department and making sure we are following their protocols. At this time, they are not recommending any exclusions. They are recommending we go about our business every day.

Mr Pence arrived at Sarasota-Bradenton International Airport in Air Force Two on Friday afternoon, shaking hands and taking pictures with approximately 50 supporters. He then posed for a picture in front of his aeroplane with 44 cadets from the academy.

According to the Florida Department of Health, there are two confirmed cases of coronavirus in the state, eight pending cases, 15 negative results, and 184 people being monitored for possible exposure.

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