Harris, 57, who is fully vaccinated against the virus and has received two booster shots, has exhibited no symptoms, according to the statement issued by Kirsten Allen, the vice president’s press secretary.
Harris tested positive after returning from a weeklong trip to California. She will isolate and continue to work from her residence. The vice president will return to the White House when she tests negative, the statement says.
“Today I tested positive for COVID-19. I have no symptoms, and I will continue to isolate and follow CDC guidelines. I’m grateful to be both vaccinated and boosted,” Harris wrote in a tweet Tuesday afternoon.
Harris has not been considered a “close contact” to President Joe Biden, according to the statement. Biden last tested negative for COVID-19 on Monday, White House press secretary Jen Psaki said.
Democratic Sens. Ron Wyden (D-Ore.) and Chris Murphy (D-Conn.) also tested positive for the virus on Tuesday.
This shortage of Democrats, including Harris’s potential tie-breaking vote, comes as the Senate looks to vote on confirming key Biden administration nominations. Biden has tapped Lisa Cook to be a member of the Federal Reserve Board and Alvaro Bedoya to be the chair of the Federal Trade Commission.
“That is something that members and leaders will work through in Congress,” Psaki told reporters on Tuesday when asked about the nominees. “We are confident we have the votes to get them confirmed. We’re eager to have them in place. But of course, we need all the people, all members there to do that.”
This comes alongside new data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention showing that nearly 60 percent of the entire U.S. population has had COVID-19 before.
The week over week average number of COVID cases has also gone up more than 20 percent as of April 25, with the Omicron BA.2 subvariant accounting for most new cases.
“We have a very, very contagious variant out there,” said White House COVID-19 response coordinator Dr. Ashish Jha while advocating for COVID vaccines and therapeutics. “It is going to be hard to ensure that no one gets COVID in America, that’s not even a policy goal. The goal of our policies should be obviously minimize infections whenever possible, but to make sure people don’t get seriously ill.”
The Biden administration continues to seek additional funding from Congress to combat the spread of the virus, including steps to expand availability of the COVID-19 antiviral treatment Paxlovid.