Oct 22, 2022 - Health

CDC director Rochelle Walensky tests positive for COVID-19

Rochelle Walensky, director of the Centers for Disease Control, testifies.

Rochelle Walensky, director of the Centers for Disease Control, testifies before Congress. Photo: Tom Williams/CQ-Roll Call, Inc via Getty Images

Rochelle Walensky, the director of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, has tested positive for COVID-19, the CDC said Saturday.

Why it matters: Walensky has tested positive as White House officials have expressed concerns about rising COVID-19 variants that could fuel a winter surge of cases.

Details: The CDC said Walensky tested positive Friday night and has been experiencing mild symptoms, the agency said.

  • Walensky, who is up to date on her vaccines, will isolate herself in her home and attend meetings virtually, the CDC said.

The big picture: The CDC is currently monitoring multiple versions of the Omicron variant around the world that could spring the next COVID-19 wave.

  • These variants "are evolving rapidly and emerging around the world, including ones that evade some of our treatments," said COVID-19 response coordinator Ashish Jha on Oct. 11.
  • NIAID director Anthony Fauci warned earlier this month that the BQ.1 and BQ.1.1 variants could be "pretty troublesome" because of they continue to spread at an increased rate.

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