Washington [US], January 5 (ANI): The guidelines in place by the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention will be abandoned when the US Congress would gather to certify the Electoral College votes that voted for President-elect Joe Biden on Wednesday.
According to CNN, the joint session of Congress will mean as many as 535 members that comprise the House and Senate will come together in the House chamber at one time. House Minority Leader Steny Hoyer said the chamber is working to maintain more safety protocols but acknowledged that keeping what could be 535 members in compliance will not be easy.
"It is tough, but we're going to admonish them again. And all of us break the rule, unfortunately .. because that's the normal way we respond... We also think we're wearing masks, we might be safe," he told CNN Monday.
"But what we will do is admonish members to stay apart, don't get close to one another," he added.
The House is set to deploy the same mitigation measures that have been in place -- mandated mask-wearing while on the floor, marking off seats to maintain social distancing, and opening the gallery for members to spread out, as reported by CNN. According to the rules governing the certification, members are not required to be in the chamber and are highly encouraged to watch the proceedings from their offices.
However, the aide said that few members are expected to want to miss the debate of the certification process and leadership is expecting a very full chamber -- which means hundreds of members are expected to gather together on the House floor amid a pandemic.
House Speaker Nancy Pelosi said the House would again allow proxy voting through February 18, which allows members to vote through another member.
"In consultation with the Office of Attending Physician, that a public health emergency is in effect due to a novel coronavirus, I am hereby designating a "covered period" pursuant to section 3(s) of House Resolution 8, until February 18, 2021," she wrote.
This comes as Republican Representative Kay Granger becomes the latest lawmaker to announce in a statement she has tested positive for coronavirus.
She was seen on the House floor Sunday for the roll call vote of the 117th Congress.
"When she arrived in DC for the beginning of the 117th Congress, Congresswoman Kay Granger was tested for coronavirus in accordance with the Attending Physician's guidance for Members when travelling from their home state," her office said in a statement provided by CNN.
"She was later notified that she tested positive and immediately quarantined. Having received the vaccine in December, she is asymptomatic and feeling great! She will remain under the care of her doctor," the statement added.
.Biden was confirmed the winner of the November presidential election by the Electoral College on December 14 after all 50 states certified the voting results totaling 306 electoral votes for Biden and 232 electoral votes for the incumbent president Donald Trump. (ANI)