President Joe Biden has 'close contact' with COVID-positive staffer

Because Biden is fully vaccinated, following CDC guidance he will not quarantine and plans to continue his regular schedule.
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President Joe Biden removes his mask, Washington, D.C., Oct. 14, 2021
Joe Biden, Washington, D.C., Oct. 14, 2021
(Drew Angerer/Getty Images)

President Joe Biden on Friday was in "close contact" with a White House staffer who tested positive for COVID-19 Monday morning. 

Biden has tested negative twice since having contact with the staff member, and he will be tested again on Wednesday, according to a statement from White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki.

President Biden sat by the now-COVID-positive mid-level staff member for about 30 minutes on Air Force One traveling from Orangeburg, S.C., to Philadelphia, Pa. The fully vaccinated and boosted staffer tested negative before boarding the plane and began to show symptoms Sunday.

Because Biden is fully vaccinated, following CDC guidance he will not quarantine and plans to continue his regular schedule.

"We expect there to be breakthrough cases across the country," Psaki stated during her Monday press conference. She said White House "protocols go above and beyond CDC guidelines." 

A reporter pressed Psaki to confirm rumors of a "significant outbreak" of COVID-19 throughout the White House, the National Security Council, the State Department and the Treasury Department. 

"Again, I point you to different agencies to give any additional information," she responded. "But I would just note that we do expect there to be breakthrough cases."

D.C. Mayor Muriel Bowser declared a new public health emergency and reinstituted an indoor mask mandate on Monday in response to an increasing number of COVID cases in the capital.