Kamala Harris’ travel suspended after 2 people near her test positive for coronavirus

The campaign says it learned Wednesday night that Harris' communication director, and a non-staff flight crew member tested positive for the virus.

  • By Barbara Sprunt/NPR

(Washington) — The Biden campaign has canceled Democratic vice presidential nominee Kamala Harris’ travel through Sunday after two people traveling with her tested positive for the coronavirus.

The campaign says it learned Wednesday night that Liz Allen, Harris’ communication director, and a non-staff flight crew member tested positive for the virus.

“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,” Biden campaign manager Jen O’Malley Dillon said in a statement Thursday morning.

But she said out of “an abundance of caution” the campaign is canceling Harris’ travel through Sunday, along with the planned travel on Thursday for her husband, Doug Emhoff.

Democratic vice presidential candidate Sen. Kamala Harris, D-Calif., speaks during the third day of the Democratic National Convention, Wednesday, Aug. 19, 2020, at the Chase Center in Wilmington, Del. (AP Photo/Carolyn Kaster)

Harris instead will do virtual campaign activities and then resume in-person campaigning on Monday.

O’Malley Dillon stressed that neither Allen nor the flight crew member had been in contact with former Vice President Joe Biden, Harris or other staffers since testing positive or in the 48 hours before receiving their positive results.

“Prior to their time off, both individuals were on a flight with Senator Harris on October 8th. During the flight, Senator Harris wore an N95 mask, as did both individuals. She was not within 6 feet for more than 15 minutes with either of them. As such, she does not meet the CDC definition of ‘close contact’ for exposure,” O’Malley Dillon said in the statement.

Both Allen and the flight crew member tested negative before and after the flight.

O’Malley Dillon said Harris has taken two PCR tests since Oct. 8 — on Monday and Wednesday of this week — and the tests have both been negative.

“From the outset of this pandemic, the Biden-Harris campaign has taken every precaution to limit the spread of COVID-19,” O’Malley Dillon said. “Today’s exceedingly cautious steps are part of that commitment.”

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