According to the White House, First Lady Jill Biden tested positive for COVID-19 Monday and President Biden’s test results came back negative.
Jill Biden, 72, has “only mild symptoms at this time,” her communications director, Elizabeth Alexander, said in a statement.
“She will remain at her home in Rehoboth Beach, Delaware,” Alexander added.
The first lady, who had previously received two doses of the COVID-19 vaccine as well as two booster shots, has previously tested positive for the coronavirus on at least two occasions.
According to White House Press Secretary Karine Jean-Pierre, Joe Biden, 80, was tested for COVID-19 Monday night after the first lady tested positive.
“The President has tested negative. “The President will be testing periodically this week and watching for symptoms,” Jean-Pierre said in a statement.
The first lady accompanied her husband to Florida on Saturday, where the couple toured areas hardest hit by Hurricane Idalia. They were escorted to the scene by Sen. Rick Scott (R-Florida) and met with several first responders, federal personnel and local officials during the short visit.
The Bidens ventured into their home in Rehoboth Beach, Del., after the Florida trip, and the president spent part of Sunday attending mass at St. Edmond’s Roman Catholic Church.
The president left Delaware early Labor Day Monday to speak at a rally for the American Federation of Labor and the Congress of Industrial Organizations (AFL-CIO) in Philadelphia.
He is scheduled to travel to India for the Group of 20 Summit on September 7-10, a trip that will include a stop in Hanoi, Vietnam.
The first lady’s first positive COVID-19 test came on August 16, 2022 after she developed “cold-like symptoms” near the end of the first family’s stay on Kiawah Island, SC
On August 24, 2022, she tested positive again in a “rebound” case of the virus, but had “no recurrence of symptoms.”
Joe Biden, who has also been vaccinated against the virus at least four times, tested positive for COVID-19 on July 21, 2022 after returning from a trip to the Middle East.
The president was being treated with the antiviral drug Paxlovid and, according to his doctor, Dr. Kevin O’Connor “mild symptoms” including cough, runny nose and fatigue.
17 days after the positive test, he was given permission to travel.
A new variant of COVID-19, called the Pirola variant, has been spotted by doctors in Ohio, Virginia, Michigan, New York and Texas, but experts aren’t sure if it’s more communicable or deadly than other variants.
Pirola, also called BA.2.86, is a severely mutated variant of the Omicron strain of coronavirus that emerged in 2021 and became the dominant strain in the United States.
“When Omicron arrived in the winter of 2021, there was a huge spike in COVID-19 cases because it was so different from the Delta variant and eluded immunity to both natural infections and vaccines,” said Dr. Scott Roberts, infectious disease specialist said in a Yale Medicine bulletin.
The bulletin states, “There is cause for concern because this variant … has more than 30 mutations in its spike protein,” referring to the proteins on the surface of the virus that allow it to infect invade and infect human cells.
“Such a high number of mutations is remarkable,” said Roberts. “When we went from XBB.1.5 to EG.5, it was maybe a mutation or two. But these massive shifts that we’ve also seen from Delta to Omicron are worrying.”
The White House did not specify which variant the First Lady was infected with.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention last week an acceleration is projected in new COVID-19 hospitalizations in the coming month after five straight weeks of a surge in virus-related hospitalizations.