President Joe Biden Tests Negative for COVID-19 After Press Secretary Contracts Virus

White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki said in a statement that she tested positive Sunday but has not come in close contact with President Joe Biden since Tuesday

Jen Psaki, joe biden
From left: President Joe Biden and Jen Psaki. Photo: Celestino Arce/NurPhoto via Getty Images; Kevin Dietsch/Getty Images

President Joe Biden tested negative for COVID-19 on Sunday, White House Deputy Press Secretary Karine Jean-Pierre announced Monday morning.

Jean-Pierre told reporters aboard Air Force One that Biden, 78, took a PCR test as an entry requirement to attend the United Nations Climate Summit, known as COP26, in Glasgow, Scotland.

News of Biden's negative test comes after White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki disclosed that she tested positive for COVID on Sunday. Psaki said in a statement that she had not come in "close contact" with the president since Tuesday.

"On Wednesday, in coordination with senior leadership at the White House and the medical team, I made the decision not to travel on the foreign trip with the President due to a family emergency, which was members of my household testing positive for COVID-19," Psaki — who is vaccinated — said in the statement.

"Since then, I have quarantined and tested negative (via PCR) for COVID on Wednesday, Thursday, Friday, and Saturday," she added. "However, today, I tested positive for COVID."

Joe Biden
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Psaki said she was disclosing the positive test result "out of an abundance of transparency," revealing that the last time she was in close proximity to any senior members of the White House staff was Wednesday.

"I last saw the President on Tuesday, when we sat outside more than six-feet apart, and wore masks," she said.

"Thanks to the vaccine, I have only experienced mild symptoms which has enabled me to continue working from home," Psaki continued. "I will plan to return to work in person at the conclusion of the ten day quarantine following a negative rapid test, which is an additional White House requirement, beyond CDC guidance, taken out of an abundance of caution."

Breakthrough cases — COVID-19 infections that occur in people who have been fully vaccinated against the virus — are possible and expected, as the vaccines are not 100% effective in preventing infections. Still, vaccinated people who test positive will likely be asymptomatic or experience a far milder illness than if they were not vaccinated. The majority of deaths from COVID-19 — around 98 to 99% — are in unvaccinated people.

In September, Biden encouraged booster shots for anyone who was eligible after receiving a third dose of the Pfizer vaccine on camera.

"The bottom line is that if you're fully vaccinated you're highly protected now from severe illness, even if you get COVID-19," he said. "But let me be clear: Boosters are important, but the most important thing we need to do is get more people vaccinated."

Biden later added, "Please do the right thing. Please get the shot. It can save your life. It can save the lives of those around you. And it's easy, accessible, and it's free."

As information about the coronavirus pandemic rapidly changes, PEOPLE is committed to providing the most recent data in our coverage. Some of the information in this story may have changed after publication. For the latest on COVID-19, readers are encouraged to use online resources from the CDC, WHO and local public health departments. PEOPLE has partnered with GoFundMe to raise money for the COVID-19 Relief Fund, a fundraiser to support everything from frontline responders to families in need, as well as organizations helping communities. For more information or to donate, click here.

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