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VIA NBC WASHINGTON:

While the rest of the country is forced to cough and sneeze into our elbows to avoid swine flu, U.S. senators will be able to slip on a comfy mask at the first sign of H1N1.

The Senate will provide the masks to senators and their staffs as part of preps to battle any outbreaks on Capitol Hill, according The Hill.

Officials hope the masks help senators who actually show up to vote on issues to, you know, be healthy enough to vote.

Some have expressed concern for members who have a full workload this fall, saying that if they are infected it may interfere with their ability to attend committee hearings or even vote because doing so could spread the infection.

And while (Senate Sergeant at Arms Terry) Gainer said senators have been advised to follow the same general guidelines the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has given to the rest of the country — “if you don’t feel well, you shouldn’t come to work” — he said the ultimate decision will be left up to the senators.

Read more here.

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