Friday, April 16, 2021

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Must read

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WASHINGTON (AP) — Former President Donald Trump’s Mar-a-Lago club in Palm Beach, Florida, has been partially closed after staff members tested positive for the coronavirus.

That’s according to several people, including one familiar with club operations, who said Mar-a-Lago had “partially closed” a section of the club and quarantined some of its workers “out of an abundance of caution.” The person spoke on condition of anonymity because they were not authorized to discuss the situation by name.

An email sent to members said that service had been temporarily suspended in the club’s dining room and at its beach club because some staff members had recently tested positive. It said the club had undertaken “all appropriate response measures,” including sanitizing affected areas,” and that banquet and event services remain open.

“The health and safety of our members and staff is our highest priority,” it read.

The Florida Department of Health did not immediately respond to a phone call and email.

Trump moved to Mar-a-Lago after leaving Washington in January, and has spent the weeks since then laying low, golfing, dining with friends, meeting with Republican party leaders and plotting his political future as he considers running again in 2024.

Trump was hospitalized with COVID-19 last fall and has since been vaccinated against the virus.

Mar-a-Lago was the site of his first known exposure more than a year ago. A senior Brazilian official tested positive last year after spending time at Mar-a-Lago, where he posed for a photo next to Trump and attended a family birthday party.

The Trump White House was hit with several subsequent outbreaks after it flouted virus precautions by resisting mask-wearing and continuing to hold large events.

The club in Palm Beach has been a flurry of activity in recent weeks, hosting events and fundraisers, including one to benefit rescue dogs. Trump unexpectedly dropped by the event last week.

In January, Palm Beach County issued a warning to Mar-a-Lago’s management after a New Year’s Eve party that violated an ordinance requiring employees and guests to wear masks. Video of the party posted online by Trump’s son, Donald Trump Jr., showed that few of the 500 guests wore masks as they crowded the dance floor while rapper Vanilla Ice, Beach Boys co-founder Mike Love and singer Taylor Dayne performed. The club was told future violations would result in fines of $15,000.

The former president was not present at the party. ___

Spencer reported from Fort Lauderdale. Associated Press writer Zeke Miller contributed to this report.

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