WASHINGTON – White House press secretary Kayleigh McEnany tested positive for coronavirus, she disclosed Monday, the latest high-profile official in President Donald Trump’s immediate orbit to do so.  

McEnany said she tested positive on Monday, a day after she informally briefed reporters outside the West Wing.  

“After testing negative consistently, including every day since Thursday, I tested positive for COVID-19 on Monday morning while experiencing no symptoms,” McEnany posted to Twitter.

“As an essential worker, I have worked diligently to provide needed information to the American People at this time,” she wrote. “With my recent positive test, I will begin the quarantine process and will continue working on behalf of the American People remotely.”

The announcement comes days after Trump himself announced Friday that he tested positive. Hours later he was moved to Walter Reed Medical Center, where he continues to be evaluated. First lady Melania Trump also announced she tested positive. 

Shortly after McEnany announced her positive test, sources with knowledge of the health status of White House aides who spoke on the condition of anonymity said that press office officials Karoline Leavitt and Chad Gilmartin had also tested positive.  

McEnany was among several officials who attended a ceremony in the Rose Garden at the White House late last month when Trump introduced Judge Amy Coney Barrett as his nominee to the Supreme Court. That was a common event for many of those in the administration or Congress who later tested positive.

Very few people were wearing masks during that event. Photographs show that McEnany was wearing a mask for at least part of the Saturday event. 

McEnany last briefed at the White House on Thursday, however she held an informal gaggle with reporters on Sunday after appearing on Fox News. She was not wearing a mask in either instance. 

McEnany said in her statement that no reporters, photographers or other members of the press had been listed as “close contacts” by the White House Medical Unit for purposes of contact tracing. Known as a “gaggle” in Washington parlance, the informal briefing on Sunday was held outside. McEnany took two questions. 

One of them involved the timeline for when people knew of positive test results at the White House.  

“Yeah, I’m not going to give you a detailed readout with timestamps every time the president’s tested,” she said at the time. “He’s tested regularly and the first positive test he received was after his return from Bedminster.”

The White House Correspondents’ Associated released a statement wishing McEnany a swift recovery. Three White House journalists have recently tested positive for the virus.  

“As of this moment we are not aware of additional cases among White House journalists, though we know some are awaiting test results,” the WHCA said in the statement. “We strongly encourage our members to continue following CDC guidance on mask-wearing and distancing – especially when at the White House – and urge journalists to seek testing if they were potentially exposed.”

Trump, McEnany, others test positive:A running list of those close to Trump being tested for COVID-19

Judge Amy Coney Barrett walks to the microphone after President Donald Trump, right, announced Barrett as his nominee to the Supreme Court, in the Rose Garden at the White House, Saturday, Sept. 26, 2020, in Washington.

McEnany refused to give an update on the number of White House staff members who have been infected.

“No, there are privacy concerns we take very seriously safeguarding the information of the personnel here in the White House,” she said Sunday. “So that’s basically where we stand right now.”

White House press secretary Kayleigh McEnany speaks during a press briefing at the White House on Thursday.

Some public health experts have criticized the White House for putting so much weight on frequent testing. Test specificity ranges across the board – some need only a few hundred virus particles to produce a positive result while others require 10,000 particles.

The White House has employed rapid coronavirus tests since March. But more rapid tests using different technologies have emerged since the spring, giving the White House’s medical team a menu of options for quickly testing.

It is unclear what test was used for McEnany.

Additionally, a person who in the beginning stages of the disease may not have enough viral load to express a positive result but can still be infectious.

Dr. Lewis Nelson, professor and chair of emergency medicine at Rutgers New Jersey Medical School, also said tests can only definitively tell a person that they were negative the moment they took that test. In the time it takes to receive results, that person could have been exposed.

“It’s a total slice in time that in that moment you’re negative,” he said. “The moment your test comes back negative, you are no longer negative.”

The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommends 14 days of quarantine after coming in close contact with an individual who has suspected or confirmed COVID-19, regardless of a positive or negative test result.

Contributing: Adrianna Rodriguez

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