On Thursday, December 17th, we confirmed that incoming White House Senior Advisor and Director of the Office of Public Engagement Cedric Richmond has tested positive for COVID-19. Richmond was not in close contact, as defined by the CDC, with the President-elect. President-elect Biden underwent PCR testing for COVID-19 today and COVID-19 was not detected. On Tuesday, December 15th, Richmond traveled to Georgia for a campaign event with the Ossoff and Warnock campaigns. Neither the candidates nor any member of the Ossoff or Warnock campaign teams were in close contact with Richmond, nor were Mayor Keisha Lance Bottoms, Stacey Abrams or Nikema Williams, who also attended the Tuesday event.
Richmond’s interactions with the President-elect happened in open air, were masked and totaled less than 15 consecutive minutes, the CDC’s timeframe for close contact. Richmond traveled to Georgia on his own and not with the President-elect.
Richmond developed symptoms on Wednesday, December 16th and took a rapid test which came back positive. As is our standard protocol after an initial positive test, he took a PCR test on Thursday, December 17th, which also came back positive. After his rapid test came back positive, we initiated contact tracing protocols immediately, and have determined that he was in CDC-defined close contact with two individuals, neither of whom are Biden, Warnock or Ossoff staff. Those individuals, two people who drove his car during the campaign trip, have been notified and are self-quarantining consistent with CDC guidelines.
Richmond will quarantine for a period of 14 days and will produce two negative PCR tests before he returns to any in-person work in Congress or on the transition.
The protocols we have followed are consistent with protocols we followed during the campaign to ensure the safety of everyone involved. We take all precautions possible, follow the best guidance of public health officials and remain committed to transparency and information sharing when positive tests do arise. We will continue to model this behavior at every opportunity.