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Charter staffer who flew on Biden's campaign plane tests positive for COVID-19

The staffer flew with Biden to Ohio on Monday and Florida on Tuesday, but they were always over 50 feet away from each other and wore masks, the campaign says.

Joe Biden's presidential campaign said Thursday afternoon that a worker who had been on the former vice president's plane this week has tested positive for the coronavirus. 

The news comes as Biden's running mate, California Sen. Kamala Harris, paused her in-person campaigning after finding out two others, one of her staffers and a crew member on her flight to Arizona last week, tested positive for the virus. 

Both Biden and Harris tested negative for the coronavirus Thursday morning.

In a statement, the Democratic presidential nominee's campaign said the person who tested positive was an "administrative member" of the company that charter's Biden's plane and "did not even have passing contact" with him. 

The campaign said the individual was on the plane during Biden's trip to Ohio on Monday and Florida on Tuesday, but was in the last row of the 737 aircraft and over 50 feet away from Biden. 

Both the person who tested positive and Biden wore masks for the entirety of the flights, the campaign added. 

"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," Campaign Manager Jen O'Malley Dillon said. 

The former vice president tweeted after the announcement that his COVID-19 test from Wednesday night came back negative and he was wearing an N-95 mask during the flight. 

"If anything, let this serve as an example of the importance of wearing masks and keeping a safe, social distance," Biden tweeted.

The campaign said it learned of the positive COVID-19 test Thursday while conducting contract tracing after the crew member on Harris' plane tested positive for the coronavirus Wednesday. 

The campaign announced Thursday morning that Harris’ communications director and a non-campaign staff member of the fight crew for her travel tested positive for the virus. The campaign says Harris did not have close contact with either within the past 48 hours, but she's canceled travel for several days as a precaution. 

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The campaign said both Harris and her husband, Doug Emhoff, tested negative for the virus Thursday.

Credit: AP
Democratic presidential candidate former Vice President Joe Biden boards his campaign plane at New Castle Airport, in New Castle, Del., Tuesday Oct. 13, 2020, en route to Florida. (AP Photo/Carolyn Kaster)