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Supreme Court Justice Brett Kavanaugh tests positive for COVID-19

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Supreme Court Justice Brett Kavanaugh tests positive for COVID-19
Associate Justice Brett Kavanaugh, shown standing during a group photo on April 23, tested positive for the coronavirus late Thursday. File Photo by Erin Schaff/UPI | License Photo

Oct. 1 (UPI) -- Supreme Court Justice Brett Kavanaugh has tested positive for the coronavirus, just three days before its next term is to begin, the court said Friday morning.

The announcement comes as the court could start to dig into potentially some of the most politically divisive issues in recent memory, including abortion, LGBTQ rights, gun legislation and election law.

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The court said in a statement that Kavanaugh took a COVID-19 test as part of its routine protocols Thursday ahead of the investiture for Justice Amy Coney Barrett on Friday. He was informed later that day he tested positive for the coronavirus.

"He has no symptoms and has been fully vaccinated since January," the court said, suggesting that Kavanaugh's infection is a so-called "breakthrough" case.

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"Per current Court testing protocols, all of the justices were tested Monday morning prior to conference, and all tested negative, including Justice Kavanaugh," the statement said.

The court said Kavanaugh's wife and daughters also are fully vaccinated and tested negative Thursday, and that as a precaution, the Kavanaugh family is not attending Barrett's investiture Friday.

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The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention is monitoring breakthrough cases nationwide among vaccinated persons and evaluating trends to better understand who is at risk for severe COVID-19 after vaccine breakthrough infection. Vaccinated people have also experienced asymptomatic infections.

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As of Sept. 20, out of 181 million vaccinations, the CDC has identified 19,136 breakthrough cases in which the patients had to have been hospitalized or died.

Kavanaugh, who was nominated by former President Donald Trump, has been on the court since Oct. 6, 2018.

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