President Biden tests negative for COVID-19 after contact with COVID-positive staffer
On Monday, President Joe Biden tested negative for the coronavirus following close contact with an aide who eventually tested positive for the virus. Press secretary Jen Psaki said in a release that he would be tested again on Wednesday.
“As CDC guidance does not require fully vaccinated people to quarantine after an exposure, the President will continue with his daily schedule,” said Psaki. The aide, who was described by Psaki as a “mid-level staffer,” tested positive for the virus on Monday morning.
The person had contact with the president on Friday for about 30 minutes while on Air Force One, but the staffer, who is vaccinated and boosted, tested negative for Covid before the flight and did not present symptoms until Sunday. According to Psaki, the contact took place on the way from South Carolina to Philadelphia while aboard the aircraft.
The White House announcement soon followed new data claiming the omicron variant of Covid had become the most dominant strain of the virus. There were no plans for Biden to be tested on Tuesday as guidance from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention suggests testing for the virus on the third and fifth days after known exposure.
Sources said the president was wearing a mask the entire time he was near the staffer who eventually tested positive, and Biden is himself vaccinated and boosted.
Washington is currently preparing for more staff members to test positive for the virus in the next few days as the omicron variant spreads across the country. The strain apparently now accounts for nearly three-fourths of all newly identified cases in the United States.
President Biden and his administration are still strongly suggesting that all citizens, as well as aides and staffers get their vaccines and booster shots, even though White House staff members are not required to do so.