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Georgia Sen. Kelly Loeffler quarantining after inconclusive Covid-19 test results

NBC News logo NBC News 6 days ago Julia Jester and Alicia Victoria Lozano and Amanda Golden and Julie Tsirkin
Mike Pence et al. holding a sign © Provided by NBC News

ATLANTA — Georgia Sen. Kelly Loeffler is quarantining after receiving inconclusive Covid-19 test results on Saturday following multiple campaign appearances earlier in the week.

Loeffler was retested overnight and those results came back negative on Sunday, campaign spokesperson Stephen Lawson said in a statement. He added that she would continue self-isolate and undergo more testing "out of an abundance of caution."

According to her campaign, Loeffler took two rapid tests Friday morning, which came back negative. She was later informed that her PCR test, considered the gold standard in detecting genetic material specific to the coronavirus, was positive. She was then re-tested on Saturday morning and those results were inconclusive. Loeffler has not been exhibiting symptoms, Lawson said.

Loeffler, a Republican locked in a competitive runoff race that could determine the balance of power in Congress, attended two campaign events on Friday alongside Vice President Mike Pence.

In photos shared on Twitter, neither Loeffler nor Pence appeared to be wearing masks.

In a statement, Pence's Press Secretary Devin O’Malley said, "As he awaits a confirmatory test from Senator Loeffler, Vice President 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."

Pence's office has said he is tested every day for Covid-19.

Last month, two of Loeffler's staffers tested positive for the coronavirus, but she did not appear to be infected, The Associated Press reported. She also had a previous coronavirus scare after attending a news conference in the White House Rose Garden on Sept. 26 when President Donald Trump announced Amy Coney Barrett as his pick for the U.S. Supreme Court. Trump later tested positive for Covid-19.

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Loeffler's Democratic opponent, the Rev. Raphael Warnock, tweeted that he hopes for a quick recovery for her.

"I pray that her test results come back negative and that she is back on the campaign trail soon," he said.

The closely watched contest between Warnock and Loeffler will be decided on Jan. 5 when Georgia voters will determine the fates of both Senate seats.

Loeffler has aligned herself with Sen. David Perdue, a Republican who is facing a runoff against Jon Ossoff. Loeffler and Perdue have been holding joint rallies and are presenting themselves as a united front.

A spokesman for Perdue said the senator will remain at home until Loeffler receives confirmation of her test results.

In March, Loeffler was among multiple senators under fire for selling off major stock holdings after receiving early classified congressional briefings on the coronavirus pandemic but before dire warnings of the virus were made public by officials. The Justice Department later closed its insider trading investigations into Loeffler and others.

Julia Jester reported from Atlanta and Alicia Lozano from Los Angeles.

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