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31 Oct, 2021 09:18 PM2 minutes to read
White House press secretary Jen Psaki. Photo / AP
US White House press secretary Jen Psaki has contracted Covid-19 along with members of her family.
In a statement, she said she was last in contact with President Joe Biden on Tuesday, when she met him in the White House. Psaki said they were more than 6 feet (1.8 metres) apart and wearing masks.
Psaki is not travelling with Biden, who was in Rome this weekend for the Group of 20 summit and is headed to Glasgow, Scotland, on Monday for a UN climate summit.
Psaki had planned to travel with the President but scrapped the trip just as he was set to depart for Europe after learning that members of her household had tested positive for the virus.
“Since then, I have quarantined and tested negative (via PCR) for Covid on Wednesday, Thursday, Friday, and Saturday,” Psaki said in a statement. “However, today, I tested positive.”
Psaki said she is only exhibiting mild symptoms.
“While I have not had close contact in person with the President or senior members of the White House staff since Wednesday – and tested negative for four days after that last contact — I am disclosing today’s positive test out of an abundance of transparency,” Psaki said.
White House staff and others travelling with Biden have been undergoing daily tests for Covid-19 since before departing Washington and are all fully vaccinated. Many officials have also received booster shots, due to the close-quarters environment and frequent travel associated with their work.
Biden got his Covid-19 booster on September 27, shortly after federal regulators approved the third dose for many Americans.
Biden has been accompanied on the trip by principal deputy press secretary Karine Jean-Pierre. Psaki said she would return to work in person at the conclusion of a 10-day quarantine and following a negative rapid test.