WASHINGTON: US first lady Jill Biden tested positive for COVID-19 and is experiencing mild symptoms, the White House said on Tuesday (Aug 16), adding that President Joe Biden has continued to test negative after recently recovering from the virus.
The 71-year-old first lady tested negative earlier on Monday as part of her regular testing routine, but a PCR test taken after she developed cold-like symptoms came back positive, her spokesperson Elizabeth Alexander said.
President Biden will wear a mask for 10 days when indoors and when in close proximity to others because he is considered a close contact of the first lady, according to guidance from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), White House press secretary Karine Jean-Pierre said.
He plans to return to Washington on Tuesday to sign a landmark climate change and healthcare Bill in the afternoon, before continuing to his home in Wilmington, Delaware.
"We will also increase the president's testing cadence and report those results," Jen-Pierre said. The president recovered from a rebound case of the virus on Aug 7.
Jill Biden, who like her husband, has been vaccinated twice and boosted twice with the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine, has been prescribed a course of Paxlovid and will isolate in her vacation home for at least five days, her spokeswoman said.
The first lady is currently in South Carolina where the Bidens have been on vacation, and will return home after she receives two consecutive negative COVID-19 tests, her spokeswoman said.