Kamala Harris suspends campaign travel after 2 members of her traveling party test positive for COVID-19

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Grace Panetta
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Kamala Harris
Kamala Harris. Ethan Miller / Getty Staff
  • Sen. Kamala Harris, the Democratic vice-presidential nominee, will cancel her campaign travel through Sunday after two people in her traveling party tested positive for COVID-19, the Biden campaign said on Thursday.

  • Harris' communications director, Liz Allen, and a flight crew member who is not a campaign staffer recently tested positive for the disease, the campaign said.

  • The campaign said that while Harris "was not in close contact" with either person, she would still halt in-person campaigning "out of an abundance of caution."

  • Visit Business Insider's homepage for more stories.

Sen. Kamala Harris, the Democratic vice-presidential nominee, will cancel her campaign travel through Sunday after two people in her traveling party tested positive for COVID-19, the Biden campaign said on Thursday.

The campaign manager, Jen O'Malley Dillon, said Harris' communications director, Liz Allen, and a flight crew member who is not on her campaign staff recently tested positive for the disease. 

The campaign said that while Harris "was not in close contact" with either person in the two days before their positive test results and thus did not need to quarantine under the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention's guidelines, she would still hold off on traveling and do virtual events "out of an abundance of caution."

Harris, a member of the Senate Judiciary Committee, has been participating in the Supreme Court confirmation hearings for Judge Amy Coney Barrett remotely, via videoconference. The campaign said Harris would resume in-person campaigning on Monday.

The campaign said Harris was on a flight on October 8 with the two people who tested positive but was wearing a face mask and social distancing.

Harris and her husband, Doug Emhoff, who has joined her on the campaign trail, are regularly tested for COVID-19, and the California Democrat tested negative on Wednesday, the campaign said. Later on Thursday, Harris was tested again and confirmed that she tested negative. 

Because he did not come into contact with the people who tested positive, Emhoff will resume in-person campaigning on Friday, the campaign said, adding that it would also conduct contact tracing to alert other people who might have been exposed.

The COVID-19 pandemic has roiled the final weeks of the 2020 presidential campaign, with President Donald Trump, members of his staff, and now a Biden campaign staffer among those who have tested positive for the disease.

Shortly after Trump and first lady Melania Trump announced on October 2 that they had contracted the illness, several White House staffers and other high-profile people who attended a ceremony for Barrett in the Rose Garden on September 26 also announced that they had tested positive.

The White House was heavily criticized for the outbreak and for a lack of transparency about the president's and others' health.

While attendees of the Rose Garden event were administered rapid tests beforehand, not all wore masks. They sat close together, and many shook hands and hugged after the event.

Trump's positive test also upended plans for the second presidential debate, a town-hall-style event moderated by C-SPAN's Steve Scully that was set to take place on Thursday in Miami. The Commission on Presidential Debates canceled the debate after the Trump and Biden camps came to an impasse over whether it should be virtual or held with additional safety precautions.

The Biden campaign drew a not-so-subtle contrast with the Trump campaign in its statement on Thursday. "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," it said.

Read the original article on Business Insider