Democratic vice presidential nominee Kamala Harris has suspended her campaign travel through this weekend after two people tested positive for the coronavirus. The announcement was made Thursday morning, just ahead of Harris’ planned visit to North Carolina, in a statement shared by former Vice President Joe Biden’s campaign manager Jen O'Malley Dillon, who said that they learned Wednesday evening that a flight crew member and Harris' communications director, Liz Allen, had received positive test results.
According to O'Malley Dillon, Harris was not what the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) defines as close contact with the two coronavirus-positive people. Due to this, she is not required to quarantine, though “out of an abundance of caution” and in line with the Biden/Harris campaign’s “commitment to the highest levels of precaution,” the campaign has opted to cancel the California senator’s travel through Sunday, Oct. 18. The statement also noted that neither of the two staffers had had contact with Biden, Harris, or any other campaign staff “since testing positive or in the 48 hours prior to their positive test results.”
“After being with Senator Harris, both individuals attended personal, non-campaign events in the past week,” the statement read in part. “Under our campaign’s strict health protocols, both individuals had to be tested before returning to their work with the campaign from these personal events. These protocols help protect the campaign, the staff, and anyone with who they may have contact with; the importance of having such protocols — which include testing before resuming duties, regular testing while working in-person, isolation after time off, and masking and distancing while on campaign duties — have been illustrated once again.”
According to the statement, the two staffers had been aboard a flight with Harris before receiving positive test results. During that flight, all individuals, including Harris and the two people infected, wore N95 masks, and Harris “was not within 6 feet for more than 15 minutes with either of them.” O'Malley Dillon noted that the two individuals had tested negative for the virus both before and after the flight.
Harris has taken two PCR tests for coronavirus since Oct. 8 and has tested negative, O'Malley Dillon said, with the most recent test has been on Wednesday, Oct. 14. All other staff members aboard the flight have also taken between two to three PCR tests since Oct. 8, with all testing negative.
The campaign travel for Harris’ husband, Doug Emhoff, has also been canceled as a precaution. Emhoff has taken three PCR tests, all of which have been negative. He is set to return to in-person campaigning on Friday.