Sen. Tina Smith latest candidate to quarantine after COVID-19 exposure

    U.S. Sen. Tina Smith is quarantining after a recent COVID-19 exposure.

    U.S. Sen. Tina Smith is self isolating after a recent exposure with someone who tested positive for COVID-19, Smith announced on Twitter Sunday night. 

    “I found out this afternoon that a person present at a campaign event last weekend tested positive for COVID-19,” she said. “The event was outdoors and masks were required, and while I was never in close contact with them, I’m getting tested and I am quarantining until I test negative.”

    By Monday morning, Smith followed up to say she had tested negative.

    Smith is the latest political candidate whose campaign has been affected by the coronavirus. Her opponent, former GOP congressman Jason Lewis, has twice now had to be tested after exposures to people who contracted the virus, including President Donald Trump. 

    The pandemic has upended how candidates interact with voters, forcing campaigns to stage events that follow health guidelines, with varying degrees of adherence. 

    Republican campaign events encourage participants to socially distance, wear masks and use hand sanitizer, but do not make them requirements. Minnesota Democrats have largely opted for many virtual events or small gatherings that require masks.

    Ricardo Lopez
    Ricardo Lopez is the senior political reporter for the Reformer. Ricardo is not new to Minnesota politics, previously reporting on the Dayton administration and statehouse for The Star Tribune from 2014 to 2017, and the Republican National Convention in 2016. Previously, he was a staff writer at The Los Angeles Times covering the California economy. He's a Las Vegas native who has adopted Minnesota as his home state. In his spare time, he likes to run, cook and volunteer with Save-a-Bull, a Minneapolis dog rescue group.