Cleveland Clinic provides clarification on COVID-19 testing protocols for presidential debate

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CLEVELAND (WJW) — The Cleveland Clinic has released a statement Sunday night issuing clarification on the coronavirus testing for last week’s presidential debate.

According to the hospital network, Cleveland Clinic and the White House medical team mandated that anyone who entered the debate hall be tested for COVID-19.

The Clinic says that both President Donald Trump and Vice President Joe Biden’s campaigns were responsible for administering tests to their candidates and additional attendees. The campaigns were then required to provide proof of negative tests prior to the debate.

The hospital network says both campaigns complied with this requirement.

Cleveland Clinic released the following statement to FOX 8 Sunday regarding testing:

The Cleveland Clinic required everyone entering the debate hall to have a negative COVID-19 test. This was also required by the White House medical team. The campaigns had existing testing protocols, which were reviewed as part of the planning process in which the Cleveland Clinic, the Commission on Presidential Debates and the campaigns participated.  After that review, it was agreed that the campaigns’ respective medical teams would be (1) responsible for testing their respective candidates and entourages, and (2) required to certify to the Clinic on the day of the debate that all of those individuals had been tested by their medical teams with a negative test result within the approved time period before the debate. Each campaign complied with this requirement.

Sunday night’s statement comes just days after Trump revealed he had tested positive for coronavirus. He has been receiving care at Walter Reed National Military Medical Center in Bethesda, Maryland as he battles the virus.

He and First Lady Melania Trump both announced Friday that they had been diagnosed with the virus. Melania is currently resting at home and said to be doing well.

Trump, who experienced more severe symptoms than his wife, is said to be improving. His doctors say he could be released from the hosptial as early as Monday.

The Cleveland Clinic previously told FOX 8 they several requirements, aligning with CDC guidelines, in place to maintain a safe environment at the debate. This included temperature checks, hand sanitizing, social distancing and masking. Hospital network officials also they believe there was low risk of exposure to their guests. They were however reaching out to debate attendees to address any questions and concerns, as well as offering testing. The Clinic said this was precautionary.

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