US first lady tests positive for COVID-19 in rebound case

In this file photo taken on June 30, 2022, First Lady Jill Biden watches as Marine One, carrying US President Joe Biden, lands on the South Lawn of the White House upon Biden's return to Washington DC. (MANDEL NGAN / AFP)

WASHINGTON / BERLIN / ROME – US first lady Jill Biden has tested positive in a rebound case of COVID-19 but is not experiencing any symptoms, while President Joe Biden continues to test negative for the virus, officials said on Wednesday.

Jill Biden, 71, first tested positive for COVID-19 on Aug 16

Jill Biden tested positive on Wednesday by antigen testing, following a negative test the previous day, and the White House's medical unit has notified close contacts, her deputy communications director said.

"The First Lady has experienced no reemergence of symptoms, and will remain in Delaware where she has reinitiated isolation procedures," her deputy communications director, Kelsey Donohue, said in a statement.

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Jill Biden, 71, first tested positive for COVID-19 on Aug 16. She had ended her first isolation on Aug 21 after a course of Paxlovid, an antiviral medication.

President Biden tested negative for COVID-19 on Wednesday morning in antigen testing, the White House said.

A White House official said the president would wear a mask for 10 days when indoors and near others. The White House will also maintain President Biden's increased cadence of testing and report those results, the official said.

In this file photo taken on April 16, 2021,
a doctor (2nd right) takes a swab sample from a man to test for COVID-19 at a testing station inside a pub in Berlin’s Friedrichshain district. (TOBIAS SCHWARZ / AFP)


German Health Minister Karl Lauterbach said on Wednesday he expects a wave of COVID-19 infections this autumn but ruled out further lockdowns or school closures.

He made the comments after a cabinet meeting during which the government approved stricter mask rules on trains and planes from October.

A woman has a nose swab taken for a rapid COVID-19 test at a high school in Rome, Italy, Sept 28, 2020. (CECILIA FABIANO / LAPRESSE VIA AP)


An Italian institution said on Wednesday that the number of "illness certificates" issued for the country's workers in the first half of 2022 increased by over 60 percent year on year amid lingering impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic.

According to the National Social Security Institute, 19.8 million such certificates were issued between January and June, up 60.5 percent from the same period last year.