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House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy wearing a mask on July 2. Photo: Tasos Katopodis/Getty Images

House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.) will require his GOP colleagues to wear face masks for a conference next Tuesday to prevent the coronavirus from spreading in Congress, Bloomberg first reported and McCarthy's team confirmed to Axios.

Why it matters: McCarthy upped his past recommendation that lawmakers wear masks to a requirement this week. Democrats previously complained that some Republicans were appearing on the House floor and in committees without face coverings, threatening not to recognize members who refused to mask up in session.

Those attending the in-person Republican-only conference next week will receive temperature checks at the door and be required to wear masks and maintain social distance.

  • However, not all 197 House Republicans can attend the meeting because of social distancing measures. Only 131 members can RSVP.

The big picture: Congressional Republicans have started advocating for face coverings and rigorous COVID-19 testing as case counts are increasing in several states, including Florida, Texas and Arizona.

Go deeper: Where the science stands on using face masks against coronavirus

Go deeper

Updated 18 hours ago - Politics & Policy

Omicron dashboard

Illustration: Shoshana Gordon/Axios

  1. Health: Concerns grow over CDC's isolation guidelines — Experts warn of more COVID-19 variants after Omicron.
  2. Vaccines: America's vaccination drive runs out of gas — Puerto Rico expands booster shot requirements.
  3. Politics: Joint Chiefs chair Gen. Mark Milley tests positive for COVID-19 — Vivek Murthy calls SCOTUS vaccine mandate block "a setback for public health."
  4. Economy: Report: World's 10 richest men doubled wealth during pandemicAmerica's labor shortage is bigger than the pandemic.
  5. States: America struggles to keep schools open — Youngkin ends mandates for masks in schools and COVID vaccinations for state workers.
  6. World: Greece imposes vaccine mandate for people 60 and older — French parliament passes COVID vaccine passport legislation.
  7. Variant tracker

White House outlines COVID-19 precautions for annual Halloween event

Photo: Nicholas Kamm/AFP via Getty Images

The White House each year welcomes waves of trick-or-treaters, but festivities for the end of this October will adapt to the spookiest thing of all: COVID-19.

The big picture: The White House plans to open its grounds to military personnel, local children and families of frontline health care workers. An announcement notes that all persons over 2-years-old will be "required to wear a face covering and practice social distancing during their visit to the White House complex."

Oct 24, 2020 - Health

Fauci says if people won't wear masks, maybe it should be mandated

Anthony Fauci. Photo: Graeme Jennings- Pool/Getty Images

NIAID director Anthony Fauci told CNN on Friday evening that if "people are not wearing masks, then maybe we should be mandating it."

Why it matters: Fauci made the comments the same day the U.S. hit its highest daily COVID-19 case count since the pandemic began.