First lady Jill Biden tests positive for COVID-19

First lady Jill Biden has tested positive for COVID-19 while on vacation with President Biden and other family members in South Carolina, the White House announced Tuesday.

“After testing negative for COVID-19 on Monday during her regular testing cadence, the First Lady began to develop cold-like symptoms late in the evening. She tested negative again on a rapid antigen test, but a PCR test came back positive,” Elizabeth Alexander, the first lady’s communications director, said in a statement. 

The first lady is fully vaccinated and has received two booster shots. She has mild symptoms, the White House said, and will start taking Paxlovid, an antiviral drug that has proven effective at preventing serious cases of COVID-19.

“She is currently staying at a private residence in South Carolina and will return home after she receives two consecutive negative COVID tests,” Alexander said in a statement.

The president tested negative on Tuesday after taking a rapid test, White House press secretary Karine Jean-Pierre tweeted.

“Consistent with CDC guidance because he is a close contact of the First Lady, he will mask for 10 days when indoors and in close proximity to others. We will also increase the President’s testing cadence and report those results,” Jean-Pierre tweeted.

The first lady’s COVID-19 case comes roughly two weeks after the president was able to leave isolation following a rebound case of COVID-19. Rebound cases can happen in patients who take Paxlovid when a patient tests negative for the virus, only to test positive again a few days later.

The president and first lady have been vacationing in Kiawah Island, S.C., since Wednesday. The president is scheduled to return to Washington later Tuesday to sign the Inflation Reduction Act before flying to Delaware for the remainder of the week.

Tags COVID-19 Elizabeth Alexander First Lady Jill Biden Jill Biden Karine Jean-Pierre White House

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