Biden Tests Positive for COVID: What We Know About President's Condition

President Joe Biden has tested positive for COVID-19, the White House announced on Thursday.

"This morning, President Biden tested positive for COVID-19," White House press secretary Karine Jean-Pierre said in a statement, adding that the president is fully vaccinated and twice boosted.

She said that Biden is experiencing "very mild symptoms" and has begun taking Paxlovid as treatment. His last COVID test, which was conducted on Tuesday, had been negative. This is the first time he has tested positive for COVID.

"Consistent with CDC guidelines, he will isolate at the White House and will continue to carry out all of his duties fully during that time," Jean-Pierre added.

The president will continue to work in isolation until he produces a negative test, at which point he will then be allowed to return to in-person work.

Citing transparency, the White House has stated it will provide daily updates on Biden as he recovers from COVID.

joe biden covid positive
President Joe Biden tested positive for COVID-19 on Thursday morning. Biden delivers brief remarks during the Congressional Picnic on the South Lawn of the White House on July 12 in Washington, D.C. Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images

The announcement from the White House comes as a subvariant of the Omicron variant has rapidly spread across the U.S., becoming the most dominant strain of the virus in the nation. The subvariant known as BA.5 accounts for nearly 78 percent of all COVID-19 cases in the country.

Biden's positive diagnosis has raised health concerns for the 79-year-old, whose age puts him at an increased risk for a more severe case of COVID. According to Dr. Kevin O'Connor, the physician to the president, Biden is currently experiencing a runny nose, dry cough and some fatigue.

O'Connor said that he expects Biden to "respond favorably" because of the four vaccinations and with the early use of Paxlovid.

The president was scheduled to fly to Pennsylvania on Thursday for a speech about gun violence before traveling home to Wilmington, Delaware, for the weekend. The trip has been canceled.

On Wednesday, he had traveled to Somerset, Massachusetts, for an event on climate change, where he was seen shaking hands with attendees in the outdoor crowd.

Biden had also just returned from last week's trip to the Middle East, where he met with world leaders in Saudi Arabia and Israel. The president had been seen fist bumping his counterparts instead of shaking hands, which the White House said was a preventive measure against the latest coronavirus subvariant.

Following her husband's diagnosis, first lady Jill Biden announced she had tested negative on Thursday and would be keeping her schedule in line with CDC guidelines.

The White House is currently working on contact tracing for those who may have been in close contact with Biden, including members of Congress and any press who interacted with the president during his travels on Wednesday.

Update 7/21/22, 12:26 p.m. ET: This story has been updated to include a comment from O'Connor.