Jill Biden tests positive for COVID-19; President Biden still negative

WASHINGTON − First lady Jill Biden tested positive for COVID-19 on Monday while President Joe Biden remains negative for the virus, the White House said.

The first lady is “currently experiencing only mild symptoms,” her communications director Elizabeth Alexander said in a statement. Jill Biden is remaining at the Biden’s vacation home in Rehoboth Beach, Delaware, where the first couple was staying over Labor Day weekend.

White House press secretary Karine Jean-Pierre said President Biden was administered a COVID test Monday evening following the first lady’s positive test and that he tested negative. Jean-Pierre, in a statement, said the president will “test at a regular cadence this week and monitor for symptoms.”

It is unclear what, if any, protocols will be taken on the White House campus in response to the first lady’s positive test. The White House has not yet said what additional precautions the president would be taking in the coming days.

A Tuesday afternoon Medal of Honor ceremony for an Army veteran, to be attended by the president, remains on Biden’s official White House schedule.

Joe Biden traveled from the first couple’s vacation home in Rehoboth Beach to Philadelphia on Air Force One Monday morning to commemorate Labor Day while Jill Biden stayed in Rehoboth Beach.

President Biden gave remarks at a Philadelphia union hall, then returned to the White House Monday evening. Previously, the Bidens traveled to Florida together on Saturday to tour damage from Hurricane Idalia.

COVID cases are on the rise again, with hospitalizations from the virus up 18.8% this past week, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Jill Biden, 72, has tested positive for COVID-19 once before, in August 2022, after her husband was infected with the virus the previous month.

Joe Biden, 80, the oldest president in U.S. history, contracted COVID-19 in July 2022 then, after initially testing negative, experienced a “rebound” positive case a week later stemming from his use of the antiviral medication Paxlovid.

Both Joe and Jill Biden are vaccinated and have received boosters for the virus.

President Biden is still scheduled to travel to India for a summit of Group of 20 nations on Thursday, before visiting Vietnam on Sunday and Alaska on his way back to Washington.

Reach Joey Garrison on Twitter @joeygarrison.

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