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Tillis, positive for virus, regains taste, smell

WASHINGTON (AP) — The Latest on President Donald Trump’s health after his COVID-19 diagnosis and hospitalization, and infections of close aides and others (all times local):

5:20 p.m.

Republican Sen. Thom Tillis of North Carolina says he’s regained his sense of taste and smell after testing positive for the coronavirus last week.

Tillis tweeted Monday: “I feel great.” He says that although he’s no longer exhibiting any symptoms of the coronavirus, he will continue to self-isolate.

Tillis is among several people who tested positive for the virus days after attending the Supreme Court nomination ceremony for Amy Coney Barrett at the White House on Sept. 26. Others who came down with the coronavirus include President Donald Trump and Republican Sen. Mike Lee of Utah.

Tillis was wearing a mask during the outside ceremony and has supported mask use. A New York Times photo taken inside the White House showed a maskless Tillis speaking to Barrett.

Tillis is in a tight race for reelection in November. He has temporarily halted in-person campaigning, and several campaign staff went into quarantine.


4:40 p.m.

Washington, D.C., officials say the White House has rebuffed their offers to assist with contact tracing after President Donald Trump and several others who attended a Rose Garden event to introduce the new Supreme Court nominee tested positive for COVID-19.

Democratic Mayor Muriel Bowser says a D.C. health department representative who reached out to the White House “had a very cursory conversation that we don’t consider a substantial contact from the public health side.”

Washington’s local virus regulations don’t apply on federal property, and the White House has hosted multiple gatherings that exceeded the local 50-person limit, and many participants didn’t wear masks.

The Sept. 26 ceremony announcing Trump’s nomination of Amy Coney Barrett is now regarded as a potential infection nexus.

The White House says it is doing contact tracing, and “appropriate notifications and recommendations are being made.”


3:50 p.m.

President Donald Trump is planning to return to the White House on Monday evening, but doctors couldn’t say when he’ll no longer be contagious for the coronavirus or when he’d be able to travel again.

The president’s personal physician, Dr. Sean Conley, told reporters at Walter Reed National Military Medical Center on Monday afternoon that Trump is not out of the woods yet, but that there is no care at the hospital that the president cannot get at the White House.

Typically, COVID-19 patients don’t have tests when they leave the hospital. Doctors says Trump will be given advanced testing that is not readily available to determine when no more viable virus is present.

Trump announced his coronavirus diagnosis early Friday and spent three days in the hospital.


3:45 p.m.

An infectious-disease specialist says he’s working with President Donald Trump’s medical team on infection control strategies so that the president can return to the White House.

Dr. Jason Blaylock said Monday that he’s working closely with local laboratories to obtain advanced diagnostic testing that would inform