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Following President Trump's positive COVID-19 test, Cleveland Clinic issues statement that masks were required at debate

"We believe there is a low risk of exposure to our guests."

CLEVELAND — Coming off of the news that President Trump has tested positive for COVID-19, Cleveland Clinic has issued a statement after co-hosting the recent presidential debate that was held inside the Health Education Campus

Several members of the president's family, including First Lady Melania Trump, were in Cleveland to attend Tuesday's debate against Joe Biden. The first lady has also tested positive for coronavirus. 

Here is the statement from Cleveland Clinic: 

“Our thoughts are with the President, First Lady and all of our guests. As health advisor to the Commission on Presidential Debates and the host site, we had requirements to maintain a safe environment that align with CDC guidelines- including social distancing, hand sanitizing, temperature checks and masking. Most importantly, everyone permitted inside the debate hall tested negative for COVID-19 prior to entry. Individuals traveling with both candidates, including the candidates themselves, had been tested and tested negative by their respective campaigns.

Based on what we know about the virus and the safety measures we had in place, we believe there is low risk of exposure to our guests. Out of an abundance of caution we are reaching out to our guests to address any questions and concerns. We will continue to monitor the information being released by the White House.”

The Clinic adds that while it is following up with the guests to address their questions and concerns, it is not believed to be necessary to test everyone again given the safety measures in place. If a guest brings this up as a concern, however, the Clinic says it can offer retesting.

Despite the statement by Cleveland Clinic, some members of the president's family were seen seated in the audience without wearing a mask. Images show the family wearing masks when they entered the venue, other photos, however, show their facial coverings were removed while in physically distanced seats to watch the debate. 

Hallie Jackson of NBC News offered her perspective on what happened with the masks Tuesday night.

"A Cleveland Clinic doctor in a white lab coat started to approach Trump family guests to ask them to put on masks," Jackson wrote on NBCNews.com. "She offered them one in case they didn't get one. She never approached any family members but as she got closer to them, someone shook their head and no one she reminded to put on a mask ended up putting one on."

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