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Kamala Harris’ Travel Suspended After 2 People Near Her Test Positive For Coronavirus

Democratic vice presidential nominee Sen. Kamala Harris, seen here during the Oct. 7 vice presidential debate, is postponing in-person campaign events after two people traveling with her tested positive for the coronavirus.
Image credit: Alex Wong

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Updated at 10:50 a.m. ET

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’ communications 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.

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.”

Harris had been scheduled to travel Thursday to North Carolina to encourage early voting.

The news of Harris’ canceled in-person events comes two weeks after President Trump announced that he tested positive for the coronavirus.

Trump and close to a dozen key members in his orbit, including senior White House and campaign staff, also announced positive coronavirus test results in the days before and after Trump tested positive.

Copyright 2020 NPR. To see more, visit https://www.npr.org.

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