President Joe Biden has now tested negative for SARS-CoV-2 in two separate rapid antigen tests and is ending his “strict isolation measures”.
The president tested negative Tuesday night and then again Wednesday morning, the president’s doctor, Kevin O’Connor, wrote in his daily update letter of SARS-CoV-2 infection from the President.
Biden, 79, first tested positive Thursday morning while experiencing mild symptoms of a runny nose, fatigue and a dry cough.
Once diagnosed, he immediately went into isolation and began a five-day course of the antiviral Paxlovid. He completed that course 36 hours ago, O’Connor wrote. The President is afebrile and the rest of his symptoms are improving and “almost completely resolved”.
Biden will now come out of isolation but will wear a well-fitting mask for 10 days. The decision to end isolation transcends the Standards set by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, which does not require negative tests to end isolation. The agency advises that people can exit their isolation after five days without a test as long as they are fever-free and their symptoms are improving, but they should mask themselves until 10 days after testing positive.
O’Connor ended the letter by citing the possibility that Biden could experience a COVID “rebound” after his Paxlovid course. It’s unclear why, but some people with COVID-19 experience a resurgence of symptoms and test positive again after an initial but brief recovery. This phenomenon has been reported particularly in patients taking Paxlovid, but the percentage of patients who experience a rebound is unknown.
“The President will increase his frequency of testing, both to protect those around him and to ensure early detection of a return of virus replication,” O’Connor wrote.
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