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Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas tests positive for COVID-19

Alejandro Mayorkas
Posted at 2:35 PM, Oct 19, 2021
and last updated 2021-10-19 16:35:53-04

Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas, 61, has tested positive for COVID-19, an agency spokesperson said Tuesday. Mayorkas is fully vaccinated.

"Secretary Mayorkas tested positive this morning for the COVID-19 virus after taking a test as part of routine pre-travel protocols," spokesperson Marsha Espinosa said in a statement. "Secretary Mayorkas is experiencing only mild congestion."

The spokesperson added that contact tracing is underway. Mayorkas plans to isolate and work from home in accordance with CDC protocols.

Mayorkas joined President Joe Biden, First Lady Jill Biden, FBI Director Christopher Wray and several other high-ranking officials at the annual National Police Officers' Memorial Service at the U.S. Capitol on Saturday.

During the outdoor event, Mayorkas stood within a few feet of the president. In addition to Mayorkas, President Biden is fully vaccinated against COVID and received a booster shot late last month.

CBS News has reached out to the White House and FBI to ask about additional precautions in the wake of Mayorkas' diagnosis.

Last Friday, Mayorkas attended the U.S. Customs and Border Protection Valor Memorial and Wreath Laying Ceremony at the Woodrow Wilson Plaza in Washington, D.C. to honor 23 federal law enforcement officers who lost their lives in the line of duty. That event also took place outdoors.

The secretary was previously slated to appear before the Senate Judiciary committee on Thursday. Later this week, Mayorkas planned to travel to Colombia alongside Secretary of State Antony Blinken.