Hoda Kotb has tested positive for COVID-19. The Today show kicked off Thursday morning with Craig Melvin revealing that Kotb has tested positive for a breakthrough case of COVID-19. Kotb, a long-time staple of the NBC morning show, is vaccinated and has received her booster shot. Amid her positive diagnosis, she will isolate at home, it was confirmed.
In sharing the news, Melvin told Today viewers, "We should mention here before we get to the news that the reason Hoda is off is like many others she tested positive for Covid." He added that Kotb "tells us she's doing just fine and we look forward to having her back very, very soon." Kotb also confrmed the news herself, writing in a tweet that same morning, "Thx for well wishes! Feeling good. Can't wait to see you all when I am in the clear! Xo." In addition to Today, Kotb also co-hosts Hoda and Jenna in the show's fourth hour. It is unclear when she will return to her hosting duties.
Thx for well wishes! Feeling good.. ❤️ cant wait to see you all when I am in the clear! Xo— Hoda Kotb (@hodakotb) January 6, 2022
Kotb marks just the latest positive COVID-19 diagnosis to hit NBC. On Tuesday, Seth Meyers announced the cancellation of the remainder of his shows for the week after he tested positive for the virus. In a statement, the late-night host shared, "The bad news is, I tested positive for COVID (thanks, 2022!) The good news is, I feel fine (thanks vaccines and booster!) We are canceling the rest of the shows this week, so tune in next Monday to see what cool location we will try and pass off as a studio!!!" On Monday, Jimmy Fallon also announced he tested positive for COVID-19, revealing that "on the first day of our holiday break I tested positive for Covid. I was vaccinated and boostered which made me lucky enough to only have mild symptoms." Over on ABC, Whoopi Goldberg tested positive over the holidays as well.
The string of positive cases comes amid a surge of COVID-19 cases in the U.S., in large part due to the highly contagious Omicron variant, which is currently the most dominant strain in the U.S., according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). The U.S. reported a record-breaking 1 million new cases in a single day on Monday, and there have been more than 57 million confirmed cases of the virus since the start of the pandemic, data from Johns Hopkins University shows.
Amid the surge in cases, public health officials are still pushing vaccination first and foremost as a means of protection. On Wednesday, a CDC advisory panel voted to recommend Pfizer-BioNTech's COVID-19 booster shot for children ages 12 to 15. Even with the vaccine, breakthrough cases are possible. The CDC notes that "like with other vaccines, vaccine breakthrough cases will occur, even though the vaccines are working as expected. Asymptomatic infections among vaccinated people will also occur."