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Sanders tests positive for COVID-19 during Senate recess as infections rise nationwide

Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) said Thursday he tested positive for COVID-19, amid a nationwide surge in infections.

Sanders, 82, said in a post on X, formerly known as Twitter, that he had “minimal” symptoms and would continue to self-isolate while working from his home in Vermont.

“I am happy to be fully up to date with the vaccine,” Sanders wrote.

The Senate finished its legislative work for the year last week and will not return to vote until January 8.

The United States is experiencing high levels of respiratory illnesses this winter, and the Northeast is experiencing the highest levels of virus activity, according to the most recent wastewater data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Nationally, the level of wastewater viral activity for COVID-19 is the highest since the 2022 omicron surge.

According to data from before Christmas, JN.1 is now the dominant variant. For the two weeks ending Saturday, JN.1 is expected to account for 39 to 50 percent of all variants, the CDC said.

“The continued growth of JN.1 suggests that the variant is either more transmissible or more effective at evading our immune systems than other circulating variants. It is too early to know whether or to what extent JN.1 will lead to increased infections or hospitalizations,” the CDC said, adding that existing vaccines, tests and treatments still work against JN.1.

Emergency department visits for all respiratory viruses – COVID-19, flu, RSV – are now showing the largest acceleration since last year, although most COVID-related visits are among people 65 and older.

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