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Harris positive for COVID-19, Biden not ‘close contact’ – The Mercury News



By ZEKE MILLER

WASHINGTON (AP) — Vice President Kamala Harris examined optimistic for COVID-19 on Tuesday, the White House introduced, underscoring the persistence of the extremely contagious virus even because the U.S. eases restrictions in a bid to return to pre-pandemic normalcy.

Harris press secretary Kirsten Allen mentioned neither President Joe Biden nor first girl Jill Biden was thought of a “close contact” of Harris in current days. Harris had been scheduled to attend Biden’s Tuesday morning Presidential Daily Brief however was not current, the White House mentioned. Because of their journey schedules, the final time Harris noticed Biden was Monday, April 18.

The vice chairman returned on Monday from a weeklong journey to the West Coast.

Harris examined optimistic on each fast and PCR checks however “has exhibited no symptoms,” the White House mentioned. She will isolate at her residence however proceed to work remotely, and can return to the White House solely when she checks unfavourable for the virus.

Harris, 57, acquired her first dose of the Moderna COVID-19 vaccine weeks earlier than taking workplace and a second dose simply days after Inauguration Day in 2021. She acquired a booster shot in late October and a further booster on April 1. Fully vaccinated and boosted individuals have a excessive diploma of safety towards critical sickness and dying from COVID-19, notably from the most typical and extremely transmissible omicron variant.

Harris’ prognosis comes a month after her husband, Doug Emhoff, recovered from the virus, as a wave of instances of the extremely transmissible omicron subvariant has unfold via Washington’s political class, infecting Cabinet members, White House staffers and lawmakers together with House Speaker Nancy Pelosi. Sen. Ron Wyden, D-Ore., examined optimistic on Tuesday, his workplace mentioned.

Allen mentioned Harris would comply with Centers for Disease Control and Prevention tips “and the advice of her physicians.” It was not instantly clear whether or not she is being prescribed any antiviral therapies.

The White House has put in place strict COVID-19 protocols across the president, vice chairman and their spouses, together with every day testing for these anticipated to be in shut contact with them. Biden is examined frequently on the recommendation of his doctor, the White House has mentioned.

After greater than two years and almost 1,000,000 deaths within the U.S., the virus continues to be killing greater than 300 individuals a day within the U.S., based on the CDC. The unvaccinated are at a far larger threat, greater than twice as more likely to check optimistic and 9 occasions as more likely to die from the virus as those that have acquired a minimum of a major dose of the vaccines, based on the general public well being company.

Harris’ prognosis comes because the Biden administration is taking steps to broaden availability of the life-saving COVID-19 antiviral therapy Paxlovid, reassuring docs that there’s ample provide for individuals at excessive threat of extreme sickness or dying from the virus.

Paxlovid, when administered inside 5 days of signs showing, has been confirmed to deliver a couple of 90% discount in hospitalizations and deaths amongst sufferers more than likely to get extreme illness.

In addition to her husband’s prognosis, Harris was recognized as a “close contact” after her communications director examined optimistic on April 6.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention defines “close contact” with an contaminated individual as spending quarter-hour or extra with them over a 24-hour interval. The CDC says a (individual with “close contact” doesn’t have to quarantine if they’re updated on their vaccines however ought to put on a well-fitting masks round different individuals for 10 days after the contact.



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