Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin tested positive for COVID-19, he confirmed in a statement Sunday evening.
“I tested positive this morning for COVID-19. I requested the test today after showing symptoms while I was at home on leave,” he said.
He added that his symptoms are mild and that he is following his doctor’s instructions.
“In accordance with these instructions and as per the CDC guidelines, I will quarantine myself at home for the next five days,” Austin said, referring to the recently updated isolation guidelines from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
Austin said he would attend virtual meetings if possible during quarantine.
“I have informed my management team of my positive test result, as well as the President. My staff have started to trace contacts and test everyone I have been in contact with over the past week,” he said in his statement, adding that his last meeting with President Joe Biden was on December 21, “more than a week before I started to experience symptoms.”
“I tested negative that morning. I haven’t been to the Pentagon since Thursday, where I met briefly – and only – a few of my staff. We were properly masked and socially distanced throughout the process.” , did he declare.
Austin said he was fully vaccinated and boosted, and his doctor has made it clear to him that because of this his infection is much milder than it otherwise would have been – for which he is grateful.