First Lady Jill Biden Tests Positive for COVID-19, Will Isolate in South Carolina

·2 min read
First Lady of the United States Dr. Jill Biden
First Lady of the United States Dr. Jill Biden

John Angelillo/UPI/Shutterstock Jill Biden

First Lady Jill Biden has tested positive for COVID-19.

"After testing negative for COVID-19 on Monday during her regular testing cadence, the First Lady began to develop cold-like symptoms late in the evening," read a Tuesday morning statement from her communications director, Elizabeth Alexander. "She tested negative again on a rapid antigen test, but a PCR test came back positive."

Currently, she is only experiencing minor symptoms, Alexander said.

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The announcement comes nearly a month after her husband, President Joe Biden, first tested positive for the virus — and 10 days after he officially overcame the illness.

The first lady, 71, who is double-vaccinated and twice boosted like her husband, initially tested negative after her husband was diagnosed. It is unclear how she was exposed to the virus.

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"She has been prescribed a course of Paxlovid and, following CDC guidance, will isolate from others for at least five days," Alexander's statement said. "Close contacts of the First Lady have been notified."

Dr. Biden spent the past several days vacationing on Kiawah Island in South Carolina with the president and their family. She will remain in isolation at a private residence in South Carolina until she receives two consecutive negative COVID tests.

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Breakthrough cases of COVID-19 — infections that occur in people who have been fully vaccinated against the virus — are possible and expected, as the vaccines are not 100 percent effective. Still, vaccinated people who test positive will likely be asymptomatic or experience a far milder illness than if they were not vaccinated. The majority of deaths from COVID-19 — around 98 to 99 percent — are in unvaccinated people.

As information about the coronavirus pandemic rapidly changes, PEOPLE is committed to providing the most recent data in our coverage. Some of the information in this story may have changed after publication. For the latest on COVID-19, readers are encouraged to use online resources from the CDC, WHO and local public health departments.