WASHINGTON, Oct. 22 (Xinhua) -- The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) announced on Saturday that its director had tested positive for COVID-19.
Rochelle Walensky, who's up to date with her vaccines, is experiencing mild symptoms, the agency said in a release.
"Consistent with CDC guidelines, she is isolating at home and will participate in her planned meetings virtually," the release read.
Senior staff and close contacts, it added, have been informed of her positive test and are monitoring their health.
Walensky, 53, took over the CDC in January 2021 and is the latest U.S. health official to have contracted the virus.
"Respiratory viruses are on the rise across the United States," Walensky tweeted on Friday.
"Get an updated COVID-19 vaccine & get your annual flu vaccine," she also wrote. "Stay home if you are sick. Practice good hand hygiene."
The CDC has recently stopped publishing COVID-19 case and death data on a daily basis and instead moved to issue weekly updates.
The United States has reported a total of 97 million COVID-19 infections and over 1 million deaths, as the third winter with the virus is approaching.
The United States "could be facing another very dark pandemic winter," warned Martha Lincoln, assistant professor of medical and cultural anthropology at San Francisco State University, and Nate Holdren, who teaches at Drake University, in a joint opinion published by Time recently.
The U.S. government's "failure to push for better pandemic measures will cost the lives and health of many Americans," they wrote.