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U.S. Defense Secretary Austin tests positive for COVID-19

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U.S. Defense Secretary Austin tests positive for COVID-19. 

WASHINGTON (Reuters), Jan 2, 2019 – U.S. Defence Secretary Lloyd Austin stated that he had mild symptoms after testing positive for COVID-19 Sunday. 

He would attend meetings virtually while quarantined at his home for the next five days.

The positive Austin test result comes after the Pentagon tightened its restrictions at its headquarters last week over concerns about the highly transmissible Omicron variant. 

It has caused a sharp rise in COVID-19 infection rates around the globe.

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The military faces the challenge of keeping troops ready for combat, often at close quarters on planes and ships.

Austin is fully vaccinated and received a booster in October. He also stated that he last saw President Joe Biden on Dec 21. This was more than a week after he began experiencing symptoms.

Austin said, “My fully vaccinated status and the booster that I received in October have made the infection much milder than it would otherwise be.”

Austin stated that he had symptoms while on vacation and requested a test on Sunday. He was last seen at the Pentagon Thursday.

Austin was one of President Joe Biden’s most senior members who tested positive for COVID-19.

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