US Attorney General Merrick Garland has tested positive for COVID-19 and will quarantine at home for five days, the Justice Department said Wednesday, according to Reuters.
Garland is the second Cabinet official to announce a positive test result on Wednesday. Commerce Secretary Gina Raimondo also tested positive for the virus using an at-home antigen test.
The two are among more than a dozen attendees of the Gridiron Club dinner to test positive for the virus in the past few days. Saturday night's white-tie society affair was attended by some of the nation’s most prominent political leaders, journalists and media executives. Guests had been asked to show proof of vaccination but were not required to be tested for the virus and many mingled around without masks during the event.
The Justice Department said Garland asked to be tested "after learning that he may have been exposed to the virus." Officials say he is not experiencing symptoms, is fully vaccinated and has received a booster.
The Justice Department said Garland would isolate at his home for at least five days and work remotely. The department said it would also conduct contact tracing in line with guidelines from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
Raimondo's office said she was experiencing "mild symptoms" and was sharing the news "out of an abundance of transparency."
Reps. Adam Schiff, D-Calif., and Joaquin Castro, D-Tex., have also announced they tested positive for the virus. Both had attended the Gridiron dinner, noted Reuters.
Other members of Congress including Reps. Katherine Clark of Massachusetts and Scott Peters of California, both Democrats, have also said they tested positive.
Several top US officials have tested positive for the virus, including White House press secretary Jen Psaki, who tested positive for a second time in late March.
A week earlier, US Second Gentleman Doug Emhoff tested positive for the virus. His wife, Vice President Kamala Harris, tested negative.
In December, Harris tested negative for COVID-19 after she came in close contact with a staff member who had tested positive for the virus.