White House aide who was in close contact with Biden tests positive for coronavirus
WASHINGTON – A White House aide who was in close contact with President Joe Biden on Friday tested positive for the coronavirus Monday, the White House announced Monday evening.
Biden tested negative through an antigen test Sunday and a PCR test Monday, White House press secretary Jen Psaki said in a statement.
He will be tested again Wednesday.
The announcement came amid a surge in coronavirus infections driven by an upsurge in the delta variant and as health officials brace for another spike caused by the omicron variant. Biden plans to outline a more aggressive COVID-19 strategy Tuesday.
On Monday, the District of Columbia reimposed the city's indoor mask mandate, expanded options for at-home tests and tightened the vaccination requirement for district employees.
Maryland Gov. Larry Hogan tweeted Monday that he had tested positive for the coronavirus.
The unidentified White House aide, described as a “mid-level staff member,” spent about 30 minutes “in proximity to the president” on Air Force One as Biden flew from South Carolina to Pennsylvania on Friday, according to the statement.
The aide, who is fully vaccinated and boosted and had tested negative before getting on the plane, did not experience symptoms until Sunday, Psaki said.
She said the aide’s positive test was disclosed because the administration committed to releasing such information for anyone meeting the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s definition of having been in close contact with Biden, his wife, Vice President Kamala Harris or her husband shortly before a positive test.
Biden did not change his daily schedule because the CDC does not require fully vaccinated people to quarantine after an exposure, Psaki said.