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UPDATED: VP Pence Tests Negative for COVID-19, as Senate Finalizes Economic Package

Vice President Mike Pence and wife Karen’s COVID-19 tests came back negative, his press secretary said on Saturday night.

Pence announced during Saturday’s task force briefing that he and the second lady were being tested for the coronavirus after one of his staff members tested positive for the virus.

The staffer was last at the White House on Monday but had no contact with Pence or President Trump. The person had “mild cold symptoms,” but “he’s doing well,” according to Pence.

The vice president said the nation was in day six of the “15 Days to Slow the Spread” program. Dr. Anthony Fauci added that the administration’s efforts to contain the spread of the virus are working, but Americans need to continue following the 15-day guidelines. Click here to learn about the recommendations.

Pence said that 195,000 Americans who are symptomatic have now been tested as coronavirus testing becomes more widely available across the United States. Of those tested, he said that 19,343 people have been diagnosed with the virus.

As of Sunday morning, a tally by Johns Hopkins University shows that more than 26,900 cases of COVID-19 have been confirmed in the U.S., with at least 349 deaths associated with the virus. Over half of the states in the country and Washington D.C. have now reported at least one death from the respiratory illness.

The U.S. closed its borders to nonessential travelers from Canada and Mexico starting at midnight on Saturday.

This weekend, the Senate is working on an economic stabilization package expected to cost more than $1 trillion. Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell is proposing direct payments of $1,200 per person and $2,400 for couples amid the pandemic.

During Saturday’s briefing, President Trump told reporters that he believes congressional leaders are “getting very close” to a deal on the economic recovery package.

“We’re getting along with Republicans and Democrats and independents and liberals and conservatives and actually it’s a very nice thing to see,” said Trump.

Democratic House Speaker Nancy Pelosi said Sunday there is “no deal” yet on a stimulus package.

“We’ll be introducing our own bill,” she added.