Sen. Kamala Harris won’t be traveling for the next few days after a couple of staffers associated with her campaign have tested positive for COVID-19. The campaign manager for Biden for President said they learned of the tests’ results Wednesday night and immediately took steps to make it clear that Harris was not “in close contact” with either of the staffers in the days leading up to their diagnoses.
One of the staffers is Liz Allen, Harris’ communications director. The other was being described as a non-staff flight crew member who was not immediately identified.
“Neither of these people have had contact with Vice President Biden, Senator Harris or any other staffers since testing positive or in the 48 hours prior to their positive tests,” Jen O’Malley Dillon, Biden for President campaign manager.
To be sure, Harris has tested negative for the coronavirus multiple times since learning about Allen and the non-staff flight crew member. She was scheduled to make a campaign appearance in North Carolina on Thursday. Her travel schedule will resume Monday. In the meantime, Dillon said Harris will “keep a robust and aggressive schedule of virtual campaign activities.”
Harris’ husband also had his travel scheduled suspended out of an abundance of caution, Dillon said.
“Given that he had no contact at any time with the two individuals, and given both his and Senator Harris’s negative testing, he has not been exposed” and “will return to in-person campaigning” on Friday, Dillon said.
Contact tracing is already underway, Dillon added.
It was unclear how Allen and the non-staff flight crew member contracted the coronavirus.
Dillon said they were on a plane with Harris and others before they each “attended personal, non-campaign events in the past week.” During the plane flight, Dillon said Harris, Allen and the non-staff flight crew were all wearing N95 masks and that the vice-presidential nominee “was not within 6 feet for more than 15 minutes with either of them.” Dillon said that duration didn’t meet the CDC’s threshold for constituting being in “close contact.”
Coronavirus has rocked the 2020 campaign season. There has been an outbreak in the White House that included Donald Trump contracting the illness. Multiple senators have also come down with Covid. The topic of wearing protective personal equipment like masks to reduce and help prevent the spread of the coronavirus has become a highly charged political issue as more than 215,000 Americans have died from the pandemic.
This is a developing story that will be updated as additional information becomes available.