Gov. Gavin Newsom said he tested positive for the coronavirus Saturday, making him the latest government official to contract the virus that relentlessly continues to challenge healthcare systems across the nation and around the world.
“This a.m. I tested positive for COVID-19,” Newsom, who is vaccinated and has received two booster shots — the most recent on May 18 — announced in a tweet, “and am currently experiencing mild symptoms.”
“Grateful to be vaccinated, and for treatments like Paxlovid,” he added, referring to the Pfizer antiviral medication. “I am following health guidelines and will be isolating while I work remotely.”
In accordance with local and state health guidelines, Newsom, 54, will remain in isolation at least through Thursday, his press office said.
As outlined in California’s new SMARTER plan, a seven-part strategy that includes continued reliance on vaccinations, masks and testing, Newsom will test for the virus prior to leaving isolation, his office said.
Under the plan, the state keeps track of COVID-19 trends so that public officials can prepare for and adapt to spikes in transmission like the one that has health systems currently grappling with limitations in staffing, supplies and space.
A month ago, Vice President Kamala Harris, 57, who also is fully vaccinated and twice-boosted, tested positive. Harris was also prescribed Paxlovid.
When taken within five days of symptoms appearing, the drug has been found to significantly reduce risk of hospitalization and death among adults at highest risk of facing severe illness.
Some coronavirus-positive patients who have completed the five-day treatment, however, are rebounding into illness, and experts are urging people to be cautious if they develop COVID-like symptoms again and become infectious.