Andrew Yang has tested positive for coronavirus, his mayoral campaign announced Tuesday.
“After testing negative as recently as this weekend, today I took a COVID rapid test and received a positive result,” Yang said in a Tuesday statement. “I am experiencing mild symptoms, but am otherwise feeling well and in good spirits.”
He said he would go into quarantine and stick to virtual events for an unspecified period. His campaign declined to state how many of his staffers may also be quarantining.
“When the time is right, I look forward to once again hitting the campaign trail and advancing a positive vision for our city’s future,” he stated.
Yang, a former Democratic presidential candidate, had made a point of being publicly visible since kicking off his mayoral campaign at a Jan. 14 press conference at Morningside Park in Manhattan.
His schedule included meet-and-greets with local elected officials, an on-the-ground tour of Brownsville, Brooklyn, bus and subway rides and visiting eateries.
Yang’s appearances marked a contrast with other candidates in the packed race, who have largely stuck to virtual forums as concern about coronavirus transmission remains high.
His approach has raised questions about his decision to conduct a retail campaign during the deadly pandemic.
“Very much looking forward to folks who lauded Yang for in-person events (without mention of health risk) to now laud other campaigns that displayed more caution,” Jon Paul Lupo, an adviser to rival candidate Maya Wiley, tweeted after a Yang staffer tested positive for COVID.
Andrew Yang (Barry Williams/)
That incident, which came just days after the campaign launch, prompted Yang to go into quarantine for the first time. The city Health Department urges people who need to quarantine to do so away from their families, but Yang stayed at his apartment with his family.
“Andrew and [wife Evelyn Yang] weighed the pros and cons before deciding that quarantining within a separate bedroom in their home was preferable and adequate,” campaign spokesman Jake Sporn stated. “Fortunately, thus far, no one else in the family has had any symptoms or issues.”
Yang resumed public appearances last Wednesday, meeting with Chinatown business owners, taking a walking tour of the Bronx, holding a voter registration event in Manhattan and more.
After his positive diagnosis, he said his team would notify people who have come into contact with him.
“In all seriousness, if you want me to feel better donate to my campaign! Then I can relax,” he wrote on Twitter.
According to the latest CDC guidelines, people who have been in close contact with someone who has COVID-19 should self-quarantine for 10 days without testing or after day seven after receiving a negative test result — test must occur on day five or later. However, current guidelines recognize that any quarantine shorter than 14 days balances a reduced burden against a small possibility of spreading the virus.
Wiley and City Comptroller Scott Stringer have both said they went into quarantine after coming into contact with a person who had tested positive for the virus.