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Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin again tests positive for COVID-19

Secretary of Defense Lloyd J. Austin said Monday that he tested positive for COVID-19, months after he first contracted the virus in January. File Photo by Bonnie Cash/UPI | <a href="/News_Photos/lp/723ec994b5fb6ce84cfbb6f7c8cc2ae0/" target="_blank">License Photo</a>
Secretary of Defense Lloyd J. Austin said Monday that he tested positive for COVID-19, months after he first contracted the virus in January. File Photo by Bonnie Cash/UPI | License Photo

Aug. 15 (UPI) -- Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin said Monday that he has again tested positive for coronavirus.

The defense secretary announced he had tested positive for COVID-19 on Monday morning and said he has not been in President Joe Biden's presence since July 29.

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"I am experiencing mild symptoms, and will quarantine at home for the next five days in accordance with CDC guidelines," he said in a statement. "I will retain all authorities and plan to maintain my normal work schedule virtually from home."

Austin had previously tested positive for COVID-19 in early January.

He said Monday that his doctor told him that his fully vaccinated status and two booster shots is the reason for why he experienced mild symptoms both times he tested positive.

"I will continue to consult closely with my doctor in the coming days," he said.

Austin also encouraged those who are unvaccinated to get the life-saving jab by stating it slows both the spread of COVID-19 and makes its health effects less severe in those who are fully vaccinated who do contract the virus.

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"Vaccination remains a medical requirement for our workforce, and I continue to encourage everyone to get fully vaccinated and boosted," he said.

The announcement came days after Veterans Affairs Secretary Denis McDonough announced late last week that he had tested positive for COVID-19 and a few weeks after Biden said he had tested positive for the virus.

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