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Secretary of Homeland Security Alejandro Mayorkas. Photo: Patrick Semansky/Pool/AFP via Getty Images

Department of Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas tested positive for COVID-19 on Tuesday morning.

Driving the news: Mayorkas, who is vaccinated, tested positive during "routine pre-travel protocols," DHS spokesperson Marsha Espinosa announced in a tweet.

  • "He is experiencing only mild congestion; he is fully vaccinated and will isolate and work at home per CDC protocols and medical advice," Espinosa wrote.
A tweet previously embedded here has been deleted or was tweeted from an account that has been suspended or deleted.
  • DHS did not immediately return a request for comment.

The big picture: The news comes as Mayorkas was set to travel to Colombia with Secretary of State Antony Blinken, per CNN.

Of note: Mayorkas did not have close contact with any top White House officials since attending the National Peace Officers’ Memorial Service last week, the White House said in a statement.

  • That event was outside the 2-day window for spreading the virus through close contact, they said.

Editor's note: This post was updated to include a comment from a White House statement.

Go deeper

Jan 13, 2022 - World

Biden administration criticizes China's move to cancel more flights

United Airlines flights are among the latests to be suspended. Photo: Elijah Nouvelage/Bloomberg via Getty Images

The White House criticized China's decision to cancel more flights from the U.S. on Wednesday, saying it was "inconsistent with its obligations under the U.S.-China Air Transport Agreement."

Driving the news: China announced it suspended six flights over the course of the next week due to passengers testing positive for COVID-19, per Reuters.

Thousands without power as "hazardous" winter storm lashes East Coast

Winter view from Charlotte as winter storm Izzy creates dangerous conditions in Charlotte, N.C. on Jan. 16. Photo: Peter Zay/Anadolu Agency via Getty Images

A major winter storm was lashing much of the East Coast on Sunday, causing widespread power outages and disrupting travel over the holiday weekend.

The big picture: Heavy snow and ice accumulations are "likely to produce hazardous travel," downed trees and more power outages from the Mid-South to the Northeast, per the National Weather Service. Some parts of the U.S. can expect to see up to a foot of snow through Monday.

Updated 1 hour ago - Science

Volcanic eruption in Tonga caused "significant" damage

This satellite image of the eruption on Jan. 15 taken by Himawari-8, a Japanese weather satellite operated by Japan Meteorological Agency and released by National Institute of Information and Communications Technology (NICT). Photo: NICT via AP

Significant damage has been reported in Tonga following an undersea volcanic eruption on Saturday, which covered the Pacific nation in ash and cut off communication lines.

Driving the news: The eruption triggered tsunami warnings across Tonga's islands and in other regions, including the West Coast of the U.S. and New Zealand.