Loeffler took two coronavirus tests Friday morning, according to Lawson. One of them, a rapid test, came back negative, and she was cleared to join Vice President Pence at events that day, he said.
The senator was on a bus with Pence most of the day on Friday and was standing close to Pence, Sen. Perdue and Agriculture Secretary Sonny Perdue during some events. She wore a mask for part of the day, though it was unclear whether she wore one on the bus.
After those events, Lawson said, the senator learned that her other test — a polymerase chain reaction, or PCR, test — came back positive. An additional test taken Saturday morning “came back inconclusive” Saturday night, he said, and Loeffler “followed [Centers for Disease Control and Prevention] guidelines by notifying those with whom she had sustained direct contact while she awaits further test results.”
She is facing off against the Rev. Raphael Warnock (D), a pastor at Ebenezer Baptist Church in Atlanta, in a Jan. 5 runoff. Warnock led the incumbent senator by nearly 350,000 votes in the Nov. 3 special election, which followed Loeffler’s appointment to replace former Republican Sen. Johnny Isakson, who resigned his seat for health reasons.
Loeffler’s Friday appearance with Pence drew outdoor crowds as Republicans and Democrats have staked out very different approaches to campaigning amid the pandemic, with conservatives continuing to hold large gatherings. Loeffler typically wears a face mask, according to the Atlanta Journal-Constitution, in contrast to many who flock to her events.
Josh Dawsey contributed to this report.