A staff member with close contact to President Biden has tested positive for COVID-19, the White House announced in a statement on Monday.
According to the White House’s statement, the “criteria for what is considered a ‘close contact’ with the principals is determined by the White House Medical Unit, in line with CDC guidance.”
“On Monday morning, a mid-level staff member, who does not regularly have contact with the President, received a positive result for a COVID-19 test,” the statement explained. “Three days earlier, on Friday, that staff member had spent approximately 30 minutes in proximity to the President on Air Force One, on the way from Orangeburg, South Carolina to Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. This staff member is fully vaccinated and boosted, and tested negative prior to boarding Air Force One, as is required for everyone traveling with the President. This staff member did not begin to experience symptoms until Sunday, and was tested on Monday.”
“Others on Air Force One who were in close contact with this staff member are being contacted and will be advised to get tested per CDC guidance,” the statement continued. “The President is tested on a regular basis. As part of that regular testing, the President received an antigen test Sunday, and tested negative.”
“This morning, after being notified of the staffer’s positive test, the President received a PCR test and tested negative. He will be tested again on Wednesday,” the statement added. “As CDC guidance does not require fully vaccinated people to quarantine after an exposure, the President will continue with his daily schedule.”
Last month, the Biden administration experienced a COVID-19 outbreak as multiple top officials tested positive for the virus, including White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki.
“On Wednesday, in coordination with senior leadership at the White House and the medical team, I made the decision not to travel on the foreign trip with the President due to a family emergency, which was members of my household testing positive for COVID-19,” Psaki said in a statement. “Since then, I have quarantined and tested negative (via PCR) for COVID on Wednesday, Thursday, Friday, and Saturday. However, today, I tested positive for COVID. While I have not had close contact in person with the President or senior members of the White House staff since Wednesday — and tested negative for four days after that last contact — I am disclosing today’s positive test out of an abundance of transparency. I last saw the President on Tuesday, when we sat outside more than six feet apart, and wore masks.”
Psaki’s announcement came shortly after Department of Homeland Security (DHS) Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas tested positive for COVID-19 a few days after he had attended an event with President Biden.
“The diagnosis comes after Mayorkas attended the 40th Annual National Peace Officers’ Memorial Service at the U.S. Capitol alongside President Biden on Saturday,” Fox News reported. “Additionally, images from the event show Mayorkas stood close to Biden and First Lady Jill Biden at one point during the outdoor event, without masks.”