Fed's Powell tests positive for COVID, has 'mild' symptoms

Federal Reserve Chair Jerome Powell participates in a panel during a Central Bank Symposium at the Grand Hotel in Stockholm, Sweden Tuesday, Jan. 10, 2023. (Claudio Bresciani/TT News Agency via AP)

WASHINGTON (AP) — Federal Reserve Chair Jerome Powell tested positive Wednesday for COVID-19 and is experiencing “mild symptoms," the Federal Reserve announced.

Powell, 69, is “up to date” with all COVID vaccines and boosters, the Fed said, and is working from home.

“Following Centers for Disease Control and Prevention guidance, he is working remotely while isolating at home,” the central bank said in a statement.

The Fed's next interest rate-setting meeting is Jan. 31-Feb. 1, a timetable that could allow Powell to recover in time to participate in person. If not, an alternative plan would be to return to a virtual meeting, which the Fed held for months during the height of the pandemic.

The Fed is in the midst of an aggressive drive to tame high inflation, though there are growing signs that price pressures are gradually easing. The central bank is expected to raise its benchmark interest rate by a slower quarter-point at the next meeting, after a half-point increase in December and four consecutive three-quarter-point hikes before that.