Senior White House staff members limit interactions with each other in most offices to a total of 15 minutes in a day. No more than six people are allowed to gather in the Oval Office at a time, and a maximum of five staff members are allowed to meet together in the spacious office of the chief of staff, Ron Klain. In the Roosevelt Room, where staff meet every afternoon for a planning meeting on the coronavirus rescue plan, gatherings are limited to 10 people.

The West Wing of the White House has become a much different place under its new occupants — quieter, more disciplined and far more conscious of the pandemic that is the new administration’s priority. Partly, it reflects the way U.S. President Joe Biden’s team wants to work, but mostly it is a product of the strict rules it has put in place to reduce the risk of a widespread infection if someone on the president’s team gets sick.

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