Former Vice President Joe Biden and his wife Jill Biden tested negative for COVID-19 today. Previously, President Donald Trump and First Lady Melania Trump announced that they had tested positive for COVID-19 just days after Trump and Biden met during the first presidential debate.
“I’m happy to announce that Jill and I have tested COVID negative,” Biden wrote on Twitter on October 2nd. “Thank you everyone for your worrying news. Hope this serves as a reminder: wear a mask, keep your social distance, and wash your hands. “
Shortly after it became known that Trump had tested positive, the Biden campaign began testing the candidate, as well as all staff who participated in the debate. The Trump campaign reportedly did not directly inform the Biden campaign that the president tested positive and, according to The Hill, left the Biden campaign to find out through news reports.
The coronavirus spreads mainly through respiratory droplets. People who have the infection expel these droplets that contain the virus when they talk, cough, scream, or sneeze. These droplets can land in someone else̵
Individuals participating in this week’s presidential debate were required to take a COVID-19 test first, SELF previously reported. The event’s health advisor, Cleveland Clinic, also recommended temperature checks, wearing masks, and other on-site health exams. However, none of the candidates wore a mask on stage, and Trump’s family did not wear masks in the audience during the debate. Hence, it is possible that Biden and other attendees and staff were exposed to the virus during the event.
During the debate, Trump repeatedly mocked Biden’s consistent use of face masks, while Biden criticized Trump’s response to the pandemic that has now killed more than 200,000 people in the United States
It’s a relief to hear that Joe and Jill Biden received negative COVID-19 tests today. But they’ll likely need repeated negative tests in the coming days to make sure they didn’t get COVID-19 out of the debate. The coronavirus has an incubation period of up to 14 days, which means it can take two weeks for someone who is infected to actually develop symptoms. (If they develop symptoms at all.)
If someone is not experiencing symptoms of COVID-19, experts generally recommend waiting at least a few days after potential exposure to the virus before testing, SELF previously explained. Even if the test is negative, it’s still a good idea for people who have come into contact with someone known to have COVID-19 to quarantine the entire 14 days, just in case.
This is partly because it is possible to get a false negative (a negative result if you actually have an infection) on a test, especially earlier in the infection, according to the Centers for Control and Prevention of Diseases. And it’s also because we know that people who don’t have any noticeable symptoms can still spread the virus. A negative test result isn’t a guarantee that someone won’t get sick or test positive shortly thereafter, but it is a good sign.
As Biden said in his tweet, this is a reminder of the value of wearing a mask, social distancing, and quick testing. Together, these public health tools can help make us all safer.