The Slatest

Sen. Loeffler Receives Negative COVID Test After Testing Positive Amid Runoff Campaign

Sen. Kelly Loeffler (R-GA) speaks to the crowd of supporters at the Georgia National Fairgrounds and Agriculture Center on November 19, 2020 in Perry, Georgia.
Sen. Kelly Loeffler (R-GA) speaks to the crowd of supporters at the Georgia National Fairgrounds and Agriculture Center on November 19, 2020 in Perry, Georgia. Jessica McGowan/Getty Images

Update at 3:13 p.m.: Sen. Kelly Loeffler’s campaign said Sunday that that her previously inconclusive COVID-19 test came back negative. But the Georgia Republican will continue to isolate until she has a more conclusive result. “Senator Loeffler’s previously inconclusive PCR results were retested overnight and the results thankfully came back negative,” spokesperson Stephen Lawson said in a statement. “Out of an abundance of caution, she will continue to self-isolate and be retested again to hopefully receive consecutive negative test results.”

Origina post: Republican Sen. Kelly Loeffler tested positive for COVID-19 and is self-isolating but is undergoing further testing after a second test was inconclusive. The Georgia senator has been busy on the campaign trail as she tries to drum up enthusiasm for the state’s Jan. 5 runoff election against Democrat Raphael Warnock. Loeffler took two COVID-19 tests on Friday morning before campaigning alongside Vice President Mike Pence that day. The rapid test came back negative and she went on to spend most of the day with Pence and Sen. David Perdue and photos show they were maskless for at least part of the time. But on Friday evening her PCR test, which provides a more accurate reading, came back positive. “She was retested Saturday morning after conferring with medical officials and those results came back inconclusive on Saturday evening,” Loeffler’s spokesman, Stephen Lawson, said.

Loeffler, who has no symptoms, will continue isolating and carry out more testing. “Senator Loeffler followed CDC guidelines by notifying those with whom she had sustained direct contact while she awaits further test results,” Lawson said. “She has no symptoms and she will continue to follow CDC guidelines by quarantining until retesting is conclusive and an update will be provided at that time.” Warnock wrote on Twitter that Loeffler was in his “thoughts” and added that he was praying her “test results come back negative and that she is back on the campaign trail soon.”

Loeffler, a businesswoman who is the richest member of the Senate, has come under criticism for holding largely maskless campaign events indoors that do not follow CDC guidelines. She held one of those indoor events last week with Sen. Marco Rubio from Florida. She also recently held an event with Sen. Tom Cotton of Arkansas.

Pence “is in regular consultation with the White House Medical Unit and will be following CDC guidelines as he has in other circumstances when he has been a close contact,” a spokesman for the vice president said. Pence chose not to isolate and kept campaigning last month when his chief of staff tested positive for COVID-19.

News of Loeffler’s tests came as the Trump campaign said it had filed a petition for a recount in Georgia, a day after the state certified Joe Biden’s victory. Biden won the state by more than 12,000 votes, according to the secretary of state’s office.