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President Biden tests negative for COVID-19, ends 'strict isolation'

FILE - President Joe Biden speaks to reporters after meetings with Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman at the Waldorf Astoria Jeddah Qasr Al Sharq hotel, Friday, July 15, 2022, in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia. Biden is ending his COVID-19 isolation after testing negative for the virus on Tuesday, July 26, and again on Wednesday, July 27. (AP Photo/Evan Vucci, File)
Evan Vucci/AP
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AP
FILE - President Joe Biden speaks to reporters after meetings with Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman at the Waldorf Astoria Jeddah Qasr Al Sharq hotel, Friday, July 15, 2022, in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia. Biden is ending his COVID-19 isolation after testing negative for the virus on Tuesday, July 26, and again on Wednesday, July 27. (AP Photo/Evan Vucci, File)

After isolating for five days with mild symptoms, President Joe Biden tested negative for COVID-19 and swiftly arranged a Rose Garden appearance on Wednesday to talk about his bout with a virus that has killed millions of people around the world and disrupted daily life for more than two years.

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Biden planned to discuss his infection and his administration's progress against the coronavirus pandemic and encourage those who are eligible to get their COVID-19 vaccinations and booster shots, the White House said.

"Back to the Oval," Biden tweeted after the White House released the latest daily update from his doctor confirming that he was clear to end the isolation period that is required after someone tests positive for the coronavirus.

Biden's tweet included a photo of a rapid COVID-19 test with the line showing a negative result.

"Thanks to Doc for the good care, and to all of you for your support," the president's tweet said.

Biden, 79, tested positive last week. He continued to work during isolation, holding meetings virtually and addressing groups through recorded messages.

Dr. Kevin O'Connor, Biden's physician, wrote in Wednesday's update that the president had completed a five-day course of Paxlovid, an anti-viral drug used to treat COVID-19. Biden remains free of fever and had not used Tylenol in the past 36 hours.

Biden's symptoms were almost "completely resolved," O'Connor reported.

"Given these reassuring factors, the president will discontinue his strict isolation measures," the doctor wrote.

Biden plans to wear a "well-fitting" face mask for five more days anytime he is around others.

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