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HHS Secretary Xavier Becerra tests positive for COVID-19 for second time in a month

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Washington — Health and Human Services (HHS) Secretary Xavier Becerra has tested positive for COVID-19, less than 30 days since he previously contracted the coronavirus, according to a news release from the department. 

Becerra tested positive on an antigen test Monday and is experiencing mild symptoms. He also tested positive for COVID-19 on May 18 while in Europe and experienced mild symptoms then, HHS said at the time. 

"This morning in Sacramento, U.S. Health and Human Services Secretary Xavier Becerra tested positive for COVID-19 after taking an antigen test," an HHS spokesperson said in a statement Monday. "He is fully vaccinated and boosted against COVID-19, and is experiencing mild symptoms. He will continue to perform his duties as HHS Secretary, working in isolation. The secretary and his office have consulted with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), and are following all applicable CDC guidance."

Becerra attended the Summit of the Americas event in Los Angeles last week, but the HHS spokesperson said Becerra "has not been considered a close contact of President Biden or Vice President Harris, as defined by the CDC."

A spokesperson for HHS said the secretary takes COVID-19 tests regularly, and tested negative daily during participation at last week's summit.

As HHS secretary, Becerra has been one of the Biden administration officials spearheading the response to the COVID-19 pandemic. 

Alex Tin contributed reporting.

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