Someone who has flown with former Vice President Joe Biden in recent days has tested positive for COVID-19, the Biden campaign announced Thursday. The positive test was a result of contact tracing after two of vice presidential nominee Kamala Harris’ staffers for the virus Wednesday night.
The person who tested positive is an administrative member of the Aviation company that charters Biden’s aircraft. In a statement from campaign manager Jen O’Malley Dillon, the campaign said it learned of the diagnosis around noon on Thursday, through contact tracing of Harris’ team.
According to the statement, Biden was not in “close contact” — as defined by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) — with the individual, who was not named. The campaign said Biden was over 50 feet from the individual at all times.
Biden and his team all wore N95 masks during the entirety of the flights, and the individual who tested positive also wore a mask.
“Given these facts, we have been advised by the Vice President’s doctor and the campaign’s medical advisors that there is no need for the Vice President to quarantine,” the campaign said.
The individual who tested positive for coronavirus flew with the presidential nominee during his trip to Ohio on Monday and Florida on Tuesday. The campaign said that they were seated in the last row of the 737 aircraft during all of the flights — “well beyond the standard two rows (in front and behind) of distance the CDC generally uses when conducting contact investigations on aircraft for infectious diseases.”
The individual tested negative for COVID-19 three times since October 4, most recently on October 11, less than 24 hours before the first flight. They were contacted as part of contact tracing on Thursday morning, reported symptoms, and subsequently tested positive for the virus.
A second test confirmed the positive result.
The campaign said that no staff members were in close contact with the individual. Biden tweeted Thursday that his test from Wednesday night came back negative.
“Our campaign’s contact tracing remains ongoing, and my team will continue to share any significant developments with the American people,” Biden tweeted. “If anything, let this serve as an example of the importance of wearing masks and keeping a safe, social distance.”
The Biden campaign said Thursday that Harris will be suspending her campaign travel until Sunday, October 18, because her communications director, Liz Allen, and a non-staff flight crew member tested positive for COVID-19. Harris was not recently in close contact with either individual.