First Lady Jill Biden has tested negative for COVID-19 and will leave South Carolina, where she had isolated since vacationing there with President Joe Biden, and rejoin him at their Delaware beach home, her office said Sunday.
The White House announced on Tuesday that the 71-year-old first lady, who like her husband has been twice-vaccinated and twice-boosted with the Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine, had tested positive for coronavirus. She first had symptoms on Monday.
Jill Biden’s positive test came nine days after the president ended his isolation for a rebound case of COVID-19.
The first lady was prescribed the antiviral drug Paxlovid and isolated at a Kiawah Island vacation home for five days, following Centers for Disease Control and Prevention guidance. She received negative results from two consecutive COVID-19 tests and planned to travel to Delaware later Sunday, her communications director Elizabeth Alexander said.
President Biden tested negative on an antigen test Tuesdayaccording to a White House statement to pool reporters, and planned to remain masked for 10 days “when indoors and in close proximity to others.”
The president finished his isolation, which began July 30 after he tested positive in what his physician Kevin O’Connor called a “rebound case.” Patients treated with the antiviral medication Paxlovid sometimes experience recurring symptoms of COVID-19.
President Biden first tested positive for COVID July 21. He briefly ended his isolation after testing negative July 27, but did not leave the White House. He went back into isolation three days later after testing positive again.
When the president left Charleston, South Carolina, without his wife, White House pool reporters shouted questions at the president: “How’s the first lady?” I have given a thumbs up.
“Doing well,” he said.
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The first lady had planned to travel to Orlando last week to promote her Joining Forces initiative, including delivering remarks at a welcoming reception for the Warrior Games at the Magic Kingdom at Walt Disney World Resort.
She has been seen multiple times in public and in large groups, indoors and outdoors, with and without a mask, since July 12, when she, the president and Vice President Kamala Harris hosted the Congressional Picnic on the South Lawn of the White House. It was the first time the annual event was held since 2019, due to the coronavirus pandemic.
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Both Bidens are old enough to have an elevated risk from COVID-19, and the president also has asthma. But White House doctors say the risks are ameliorated because they’re fully vaccinated.
Contributing: Maria Puente, USA TODAY, and The Associated Press
George is Digismak’s reported cum editor with 13 years of experience in Journalism