The Labor leader says he plans to continue vying for votes while isolating at home for the next seven days.
Prime Minster Scott Morrison will not need to isolate despite coming face-to-face with Mr Albanese during the leaders’ debate in Brisbane on Wednesday.
Mr Morrison, who is not considered a close contact under the guidelines, said he had reached out personally to Mr Albanese following his diagnosis.
Mr Albanese announced the diagnosis tonight after a PCR test before he was due to fly to Western Australia.
“Following a routine PCR test this afternoon ahead of interstate travel to Western Australia, I have returned a positive result for COVID this evening,” Mr Albanese said in a statement.
“I have been testing regularly as part of my election campaign duties.
“I will be isolating at home in Sydney for the next seven days and will continue to follow health guidelines and advice.
“While at home I will continue my responsibilities as alternative Prime Minister and will be fighting for a better future for all Australians.
“I am grateful to know that I will have access to the world’s best health care if I need it, because of Medicare.
“I am feeling fine so far — and thank everyone for their well wishes.”
Mr Morrison said he had contacted Mr Albanese.
“I wish Anthony Albanese all the best for his recovery after testing positive to COVID,” the Prime Minister said, on Twitter.
“Everyone’s experience with COVID is different and as Labor’s campaign continues, I hope he does not experience any serious symptoms.”
On top of Mr Albanese’s isolation, further tormenting the Labor campaign will be figuring out how many senior members of the party, especially candidates, have been in close contact with the leader.
Mr Albanese spent Thursday afternoon in the seat of Bennelong, meeting locals there with candidate Jerome Laxale.
Mr Albanese wore a mask earlier on Thursday during a visit to the Symons House retirement village, in Nowra, NSW.
Mr Albanese won the audience poll 40 to 35, with 25 per cent of voters remaining undecided.
9News political editor Chris Uhlmann says both major parties will have had contingency plans in place for a COVID-19 infection during the campaign, “but boy, it’s an inconvenient time for this to happen”.
The risk was potentially heightened in recent days when Mr Albanese was seen shaking hands with crowds in Byron Bay, the unofficial unvaccinated capital of Australia.
Mr Morrison has already had COVID-19 so the chances of him being infected again are quite low.
Uhlmann also pointed out that US President Joe Biden “did manage to win an election in the US while he was campaigning pretty much at home”.