Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin has tested positive for COVID-19, he confirmed in a statement Sunday night.
“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 he follows his doctor’s instructions.
“In accordance with these guidelines and in accordance with the CDC guidelines, I will quarantine myself at home for the next five days,” Austin said, referring to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s recently updated guidelines for isolation.
Austin said he will attend virtual meetings if possible while in quarantine.
“I have informed my management team about my positive test result, as well as the President. My staff has started tracking and testing all those I have come 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 began to experience symptoms.”
“I tested negative that morning. I have not been to the Pentagon since Thursday, where I met briefly – and only – with a few members of my staff. We were properly masked and socially distanced throughout,” he said.
Austin said he is fully vaccinated and boosted, and his doctor made it clear to him that thanks to it, his infection is much milder than it otherwise would have been – for which he is grateful.