US Vice President Kamala Harris tests positive for Covid-19

She is not considered to have been a recent 'close contact' of President Joe Biden

Beta V.1.0 - Powered by automated translation

US Vice President Kamala Harris has tested positive for Covid-19, the White House said on Tuesday.

“Today, Vice President Harris tested positive for Covid-19 on rapid and PCR tests. She has exhibited no symptoms, will isolate and continue to work from the vice president’s residence,” Ms Harris's spokeswoman Kirsten Allen said in a statement.

President Joe Biden is not a close contact under Centres for Disease Control and Prevention guidelines, Ms Allen said.

To qualify as a close contact, a person would need to have spent 15 minutes within two metres of an infected individual.

“She has not been a close contact to the president or first lady [Jill Biden] due to their respective recent travel schedules,” Ms Allen said.

Mr Biden, 79, and Ms Harris, 57, are both fully vaccinated and have been boosted twice.

Full vaccination and booster doses provide the best protection against severe illness, hospitalisation and death.

"I'm grateful to be both vaccinated and boosted," Ms Harris tweeted.

The White House said Mr Biden called the Vice President on Tuesday afternoon to check on her and see if she has everything she needs.

“She will follow CDC guidelines and the advice of her physicians. The vice president will return to the White House when she tests negative,” Ms Allen said.

The spokeswoman tweeted later on Tuesday that Ms Harris "was prescribed and has taken Paxlovid".

Paxlovid is Pfizer's drug for Covid infections, and must be taken within five days of symptoms. It has been shown that it cuts the chances of hospital admittances and death for high risk individuals by 89 per cent.

White House press secretary Jen Psaki said they are doing contact tracing after Ms Harris's diagnosis.

Ms Harris's husband, second gentleman Doug Emhoff, caught Covid in March.

The vice president was also considered a close contact when a staffer tested positive in early April.

Updated: April 26, 2022, 11:59 PM