CDC’s Dr. Walensky tests positive for COVID-19

Dr. Rochelle Walensky, the director of the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, has tested positive for COVID-19, the agency said Saturday in a news release. 

Walensky, who is up-to-date with vaccination, is experiencing mild symptoms. 

"Consistent with CDC guidelines, she is isolating at home and will participate in her planned meetings virtually," the agency said. Senior staff and close contacts have been informed of her positive test and are monitoring their health.

Walensky, who took over the agency in January 2021 after being appointed by President Joe Biden, is the latest health official to test positive for COVID-19 this year. Dr. Anthony Fauci, the face of America’s pandemic response, and U.S. Health Secretary Xavier Becerra both tested positive in June.

Stopping the Spread of Monkeypox: Examining the Federal Response

Rochelle Walensky, director of the Centers for Disease Control, testifies during the Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions Committee hearing titled Stopping the Spread of Monkeypox: Examining the Federal Response, in Hart Building on Wednesday

Meanwhile, U.S. health officials have been encouraging Americans to get updated Pfizer and Moderna boosters to bolster protection against the most common omicron strains ahead of an expected winter surge.

A booster dose of the vaccine made by Novavax was also just approved by both the CDC and the Food and Drug Administration earlier this week. 

More than 90% of the adult U.S. population has already received at least one dose of COVID-19 vaccine, according to the CDC. But only about half that population has also received a booster dose.

Health officials in the U.S. are bracing ahead of an anticipated winter COVID-19 surge as cases rise in Europe.

Doctors are also reminding Americans to not skip the flu shot this fall. 

After flu hit historically low levels during the COVID-19 pandemic, it may be poised for a comeback. The main clue: A nasty flu season just ended in Australia.

This story was reported from Detroit. The Associated Press contributed.