SAN FRANCISCO (CBS SF/AP) — Two people with Sen. Kamala Harris’ campaign have tested positive for the coronavirus, prompting the cancellation of the Vice Presidential candidate’s campaign travels at least until Sunday, the campaign said Thursday.

The two campaign staffers were identified as a flight crew member and Harris’ communications director Liz Allen.

Harris was not in what the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention define as close contact with either person, Biden campaign manager Jen O’Malley Dillon said in a statement.

The campaign said Biden had no exposure, though he and Harris spent several hours campaigning together in Arizona on Oct. 8.

“Neither of these people have had contact with Vice President Biden, Senator Harris or any other staffers since testing positive or in the 48 hours prior to their positive test results,” O’Malley Dillon said.

Harris had been scheduled to travel Thursday to North Carolina for events encouraging voters to cast early ballots.

“After being with Senator Harris, both individuals attended personal, non-campaign events in the past week. 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,” she said. “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.”

The campaign also is canceling upcoming travel for Doug Emhoff, Harris’s husband.

Harris followed up in a statement saying that “both the crew member and the staff member were wearing N95 masks at all points they were near me, and our doctors believe that we were not exposed under CDC guidelines.”

She also pledged to be “transparent with you about any test results that I do receive. In the meantime, remember: wear a mask, practice social distancing, and wash your hands regularly. It is possible to stop the spread.”

Harris will continue virtual campaigning, including fundraisers previously scheduled for Thursday, Friday and Saturday.

The travel suspension interrupts the Biden campaign’s aggressive push across a wide battleground map. The campaign sees Harris, the first Black woman on a major party presidential ticket, as a key part of their outreach in North Carolina, where increasing Black turnout is key to the Democrats’ hopes of flipping the state from President Donald Trump’s column. She had been scheduled to travel to the state Thursday for events encouraging voters to cast early ballots

Her Friday trip to Cleveland would have been her first to Ohio as the vice presidential nominee and would have taken her into the metropolitan area with the state’s largest concentration of Black voters.

The senator’s brief hiatus from the trail comes as Trump ramps up his own travel again after he, first lady Melania Trump and several White House staffers contracted the virus.

 

© Copyright 2020 CBS Broadcasting Inc. All Rights Reserved. The Associated Press contributed to this report.
Comments