Senator Kamala Harris (D-CA) has cancelled all campaign travel for four days after one of her top staffers tested positive for COVID-19.
Joe Biden’s campaign announced today that Harris had cancelled all travel through Sunday “out of an abundance of caution” after a flight crew member and her communications director tested positive for coronavirus, according to Politico. The campaign added that Harris herself tested negative for COVID-19 twice in the past week.
“Senator Harris was not in close contact, as defined by the CDC, with either of these individuals during the two days prior to their positive tests; as such, there is no requirement for quarantine,” said Biden campaign manager Jen O’Malley Dillon.
She added that contact with neither of the people who tested positive had any contact with Harris or Biden “or any other staffers since testing positive or in the 48 hours prior to their positive test results.”
Harris had been scheduled to spend Thursday campaigning in the battleground state of North Carolina, traveling to both Charlotte and Asheville to mark the beginning of early voting there. She had then planned to travel to Cleveland, Ohio on Friday.
Harris had told MSNBC host Rachel Maddow on Wednesday night that she was planning to be in Pennsylvania this coming weekend, and she teased a trip to Texas as well. She had been taking a break from the campaign trail this week to participate virtually in the confirmation hearings of Supreme Court nominee Amy Coney Barrett.
O’Malley Dillon identified the staffer who had tested positive as Harris’ communications director Liz Allen, who she said had attended personal events unrelated to the campaign in the past week. The flight crew member, who is not affiliated with the Biden campaign, had attended personal events as well. Both Allen and the crew member had to be tested for COVID-19 before returning to working with the campaign.
Allen and the crew member were last on a flight with Harris on October 8, with all of them wearing N-95 masks. The campaign also said that Harris was never within six feet of either for longer than 15 minutes.
O’Malley Dillon praised the campaign’s “strict” protocols, saying they likely stopped Harris and other staffers from becoming infected with the virus.
“These protocols help protect the campaign, the staff, and anyone 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,” she said.
“From the outset of this pandemic, the Biden-Harris campaign has taken every precaution to limit the spread of COVID-19,” O’Malley Dillon added. “Today’s exceedingly cautious steps are part of that commitment.”