KIAWAH ISLAND, S.C. – First lady Jill Biden tested positive for COVID-19 and was experiencing “mild symptoms,” the White House announced Tuesday. President Joe Biden continues to test negative after recently recovering from the virus but will wear a mask indoors for 10 days as a precaution.
The Bidens have been vacationing in South Carolina since Aug. 10, and the 71-year-old first lady began experiencing symptoms on Monday. Jill Biden, like her husband, has been twice-vaccinated and twice-boosted with the Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine. She has been prescribed the antiviral drug Paxlovid and will isolate at the vacation home for at least five days.
“Close contacts of the First Lady have been notified,” her communications director, Elizabeth Alexander, said in a statement “She is currently staying at a private residence in South Carolina and will return home after she receives two consecutive negative COVID tests.”
The president tested negative for the virus on Tuesday morning, the White House said, but would be wearing a mask indoors for 10 days. He plans to return to Washington on Tuesday to sign Democrats' landmark climate change and health care bill in the afternoon, before continuing to his home in Wilmington, Delaware.
He recovered from a rebound case of the virus on Aug. 7.
"Consistent with CDC guidance because he is a close contact of the First Lady, he will mask for 10 days when indoors and in close proximity to others," the White House said. It said it would increase the president’s testing cadence and report those results.
Jill Biden will no longer travel to Florida later this week. She previously had announced her participation in events Thursday night and Friday at Walt Disney World Resort in Orlando in support of her Joining Forces initiative for military families.
Associated Press writer Darlene Superville contributed from Washington.