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Photo: Erin Schaff/Pool/Getty Images

Sen. Kamala Harris (D-Calif.) will pause her travel through Sunday after her communications director tested positive for the coronavirus, the Biden campaign announced Thursday.

The state of play: The campaign said that the vice presidential nominee, who tested negative for the virus on Wednesday, was "not in close contact" with the aide, Liz Allen, under CDC guidelines. She will still pause her travel "out of an abundance of caution and in line with [the] campaign's commitment to the highest levels of precaution," the campaign said.

  • An administrative member of the aviation company that charters Joe Biden's plane has also tested positive for COVID-19, though he was "not in close contact as defined by the CDC, with this individual at any time," Biden campaign manager Jen O'Malley Dillon said Thursday afternoon. The individual traveled with the former VP on Monday and Tuesday to Ohio and Florida, respectively.
  • Another non-campaign staff flight crew member also tested positive.
  • O'Malley Dillon said that Harris will return to the trail by Monday, Oct. 19 — but maintain "a robust and aggressive schedule of virtual campaign activities" until then.
  • The campaign is also suspending travel for Doug Emhoff, Harris' husband.

The big picture: The former vice president still plans to go ahead with his ABC town hall on Thursday evening, scheduled in lieu of a second presidential debate.

What they're saying: The Biden campaign released a detailed account of Harris' time around the two before their diagnoses.

  • "Prior to their time off, both individuals were on a flight with Senator Harris on Oct. 8. 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. In addition, both before and after the flight both individuals tested negative."
  • "In the course of our campaign’s routine testing protocols, Senator Harris has taken 2 PCR tests since October 8th, and the tests all have been negative, most recently on Wednesday, October 14th."
  • "All other members of our staff on the flight have also taken routine tests since October 8th (two to three PCRs each); all of these tests have also been negative."

The bottom line: The Biden campaign's transparency on the issue is in stark contrast to the Trump administration's handling of the White House coronavirus outbreak that infected President Trump. The White House has still refused to answer when the president's last negative test was before his diagnosis.

Go deeper

Updated 2 hours ago - Politics & Policy

Coronavirus dashboard

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

  1. Health: Large coronavirus outbreaks leading to high death rates — Coronavirus cases are at an all-time high ahead of Election Day.
  2. Politics: Top HHS spokesperson pitched coronavirus ad campaign as "helping the president" — Space Force's No. 2 general tests positive for coronavirus.
  3. World: Taiwan reaches a record 200 days with no local coronavirus cases.
  4. Sports: MLB to investigate Dodgers player who joined celebration after positive COVID test.
  5. 🎧Podcast: The vaccine race turns toward nationalism.
22 hours ago - Health

Fauci says U.S. may not return to normal until 2022

Director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, Anthony Fauci, testifies during a September Senate hearing on COVID-19 in Washington, D.C. Photo: Graeme Jennings/Pool/AFP via Getty Images

NIAID director Anthony Fauci told the Journal of the American Medical Association on Wednesday he doesn't expect a COVID-19 vaccine to be ready until January 2021 or later.

What he's saying: Fauci said during the interview that the U.S. was in a "bad position" after failing to keep case numbers down post-summer. "We should have been way down in baseline and daily cases and we’re not," he said.

Coronavirus cases are at an all-time high ahead of Election Day

Expand chart
Data: The COVID Tracking Project, state health departments; Map: Andrew Witherspoon, Sara Wise/Axios

In the final week before Election Day, new coronavirus infections have soared to an all-time high — virtually guaranteeing that the pandemic will be the most prominent issue in America as voters prepare to choose the next president.

The big picture: Cases are surging and local hospitals are straining at the very moment that voters are choosing between President Trump, who continues to insist that the pandemic is almost over, and Joe Biden, who has made the crisis a centerpiece of his campaign.

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