Dr. Rochelle Walensky, director of the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, tested positive for Covid-19 Friday.
Walensky is experiencing mild symptoms and is up-to-date on her Covid-19 vaccines, according to a statement released by the agency. Walensky received an updated Covid-19 booster in September.
“Consistent with CDC guidelines, she is isolating at home and will participate in her planned meetings virtually,” the agency said. “CDC senior staff and close contacts have been informed of her positive test and are taking appropriate action to monitor their health.”
Covid-19 cases have been falling as the United States moves into fall. However, experts say cases may begin to climb as they have during the past two pandemic winters – especially as several new coronavirus variants begin to gain traction.
People who are boosted have more protection against Covid-19 illness and even infection compared to people who are past due for a booster shot — and significantly more protection than those who haven’t been vaccinated at all, past studies suggest.
The updated Covid-19 booster shots are bivalent, meaning they target the original coronavirus strain as well as the Omicron BA.4/BA.5 subvariants.
The shots are available for people ages five and up, as long as they have completed all primary doses in their vaccine series. The booster doses are recommended to given at least two months after the last dose of any Covid-19 vaccine and up to three months after an infection.
Walensky’s diagnosis follows other officials who have tested positive for Covid-19 and recovered, such as President Biden’s chief medical adviser Dr. Anthony Fauci and US Health and Human Services Secretary Xavier Becerra in June, President Joe Biden in July, and first lady Jill Biden in August.