Virus Outbreak Jill Biden

President Joe Biden looks at his grandson Beau Biden as first lady Jill Biden waves and walks to board Air Force One at Andrews Air Force Base, Md., Aug. 10, 2022. AP Photo/Manuel Balce Ceneta, File

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

“After testing negative on Tuesday, just now, the First Lady has tested positive for COVID-19 by antigen testing,” her spokeswoman, Kelsey Donohue, said in a statement. “This represents a ‘rebound’ positivity.”

Donohue added that Biden has not experienced a reemergence of symptoms and that the White House has traced and notified the first lady’s close contacts. She is currently in Delaware and will remain there as she isolates.

The first lady first tested positive for the coronavirus on Aug. 16, while in South Carolina, and began a course of the antiviral therapy Paxlovid. At the time, her office noted that Jill Biden, 71, was “double-vaccinated, twice boosted and only experiencing mild symptoms.”

Jill Biden remained in South Carolina before heading to rejoin her husband in Delaware on Sunday, after she had tested negative two days in a row. President Joe Biden did not emerge from his house for three days – on Sunday, Monday or Tuesday – so reporters did not see him until he left the state on Wednesday and returned to the White House.

The first lady was also not spotted by the White House traveling press corps as the Bidens vacationed in Rehoboth Beach.


President Biden, 79, tested negative for the coronavirus Wednesday morning on an antigen test. The White House said he would be tested more regularly and would mask for 10 days when indoors and in close proximity to others, in accordance with guidance from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

The president first tested positive for the coronavirus on July 21. He also experienced a so-called rebound after taking Paxlovid.

Physicians have warned that people who receive the antiviral medication Paxlovid can experience “rebound” infections days after initially testing negative, although data on the frequency of the occurrence and its long-term effects remain unclear.

Initial clinical studies suggested that only about 1% to 2% of those treated with Paxlovid had symptoms again, but another study published in June reported that 6% experienced symptoms again. Studies are underway to determine whether a longer course of Paxlovid can help prevent rebound cases.

– – –

The Washington Post’s Matt Viser and Yasmeen Abutaleb contributed to this report.

Comments are not available on this story.