(CNN) — President Joe Biden was officially cleared to come out of isolation on Sunday after a second negative test for COVID-19, his doctor announced.
“This morning, the President’s SARS-CoV-2 antigen test was negative for the second day in a row,” Presidential Physician Kevin O’Connor wrote in a note Sunday. “He will safely return to public engagement and presidential travel.”
Biden tested negative for an antigen test on Saturday as well, but remained in isolation until Sunday morning before leaving for Rehoboth Beach, Delaware.
Leaving the White House for Rehoboth Beach, the president told reporters he “feels good,” saying, “After 18 days, I’m clean.”
Biden had not left the White House since testing positive for COVID-19 on July 21. After taking a five-day course of Pfizer’s antiviral drug Paxlovid, he tested positive for a rebound case of covid-19 on Saturday, June 30, and went back into isolation. There is currently no event on your public agenda for the weekend.
During the isolation, the president participated virtually in public events from the residence of the White House. Twice, he delivered socially distanced remarks to a restricted group from the balcony of the Blue Room, announcing the success of the attack that killed al Qaeda leader Ayman al-Zawahiri on Monday, and signing two bills to combat fraud. in covid-19 aid this Friday.
The president and first lady, Jill Biden, are scheduled to travel Monday to visit Kentucky, after deadly flooding in the eastern part of the state killed dozens of people and devastated the area.
According to the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), “people with reappearance of COVID-19 symptoms or with a new positive viral test after having given negative should re-isolate and re-isolate for at least 5 days.”
During Biden’s first bout with the illness, he experienced mild symptoms, including a runny nose, fatigue, a high fever and a cough, according to his doctor. The five-day course of Paxlovid completed by the president requires a prescription and is available through the US Food and Drug Administration’s (FDA) emergency use authorization for the treatment of mild to moderate COVID-19 in people 12 years of age and older who are at high risk of severe illness.
The CDC issued a health alert to doctors on May 24 warning that the symptoms of covid-19 sometimes return, and that this may be how the infection manifests itself in some people, regardless of whether they are vaccinated or treated with drugs such as Paxlovid. The CDC said most rebound cases involve mild illness and there have been no reports of serious illness.
Biden is fully vaccinated and has received two booster shots. He received his first two doses of the Pfizer/BioNTech covid-19 vaccine before his inauguration in January 2021, his first booster shot in September and his second booster shot in March.
This story and the headline have been updated with additional developments this Sunday.