First lady Jill Biden tests positive in rebound coronavirus case


First lady Jill Biden has tested positive for the coronavirus in a rebound case, the White House announced Wednesday, and will resume isolation procedures.

“After testing negative on Tuesday, the First Lady tested positive for COVID-19 through an antigen test,” her spokeswoman Kelsey Donohue said in a statement. “It represents ‘rebound’ positivity.”

Donohue added that Biden had not experienced a recurrence of symptoms and that the White House had traced and notified the first lady’s close contacts. She is in Delaware and will remain there during her isolation.

The first lady tested positive for the coronavirus for the first time on August 16, while in South Carolina, and started antiviral treatment Paxlovid. At the time, her office noted that Jill Biden, 71, had been “double-vaccinated, twice-boosted and showing only mild symptoms.”

Jill Biden stayed in South Carolina before leaving to join her husband in Delaware on Sunday, after testing negative two days in a row. President Biden didn’t leave his home for three days — Sunday, Monday or Tuesday — so reporters didn’t see him until he left the state on Wednesday and returned to the White House .

The first lady was also not spotted by the traveling White House press while the Bidens were vacationing in Rehoboth Beach.

President Biden, 79, tested negative for the coronavirus on Wednesday morning during an antigen test. The White House said he would be tested more regularly and hide for 10 days indoors and near others, in accordance with Centers for Disease Control and Prevention guidelines.

The president tested positive for the coronavirus for the first time on July 21. He also experienced a “rebound” after taking Paxlovid.

Doctors have warned that people who receive the antiviral drug Paxlovid can experience rebound infections within days of an initial negative test, although data on the frequency of the event and its long-term effects remain unclear.

Initial clinical studies suggested that only 1-2% of people treated with Paxlovid experienced symptoms again, but another study published in June reported that 6% experienced symptoms again. Studies are ongoing to determine if longer treatment with Paxlovid can help prevent cases of rebound.

Matt Viser and Yasmeen Abutaleb contributed to this report.


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