Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) Director Rochelle Walensky tested positive for COVID-19 on Friday, according to a release from the agency.
Walensky tested positive Friday night and is experiencing mild symptoms, the CDC said. The director is isolating at her home and will participate in planned meetings virtually in accordance with CDC guidelines.
CDC senior staff and Walensky’s close contacts have been informed of her positive test and are taking “appropriate action” to monitor her health, according to the agency.
Walensky, a persistent presence in the Biden administration’s pandemic strategy, is just the latest of high-profile government officials to test positive for the disease.
Anthony Fauci, the nation’s top infectious disease expert, tested positive for COVID-19 in June. Other leading figures including President Biden and first lady Jill Biden have also tested positive for coronavirus during the summer.
COVID-19 cases in the United States have been consistently dropping for weeks since August, but experts are concerned about a potential surge in the winter.
Additional subvariants of the omicron strain of the coronavirus are continuing to develop, and the BQ.1 and BQ.1.1 subvariants made up more than 10 percent of cases nationwide earlier this month. Those two subvariants have gained traction in recent weeks and are now the third and fourth most common strains of the virus in the country.
Health officials have rolled out an updated booster shot specifically designed to target the omicron variant of the virus, but reports have indicated that few of the eligible population have received the booster.