Yang tests positive for Covid-19

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A spokesperson for the campaign said Yang received the positive result from a home rapid test. | Frank Franklin II/AP Photo

02/02/2021 11:32 AM EST

Updated 02/02/2021 11:57 AM EST

NEW YORK — Andrew Yang has tested positive for Covid-19, 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 statement Tuesday morning. “I am experiencing mild symptoms, but am otherwise feeling well and in good spirits.”

Yang faced early criticism in his campaign for spending a significant chunk of the pandemic outside of New York City. Since kicking off his run last month he’s been fairly unique among the mayoral contenders in barnstorming the city on walking tours and holding in-person events — with staffers, press and supporters in tow.

This is the second time a Covid-19 infection has grounded campaign operations.

Yang’s campaign had a Covid-19 scare on Jan. 19 when a staffer tested positive for the novel coronavirus. His team quarantined and Yang suspended in-person events, opting for Zoom forums and other methods of campaigning. He was back out on the trail again in the final days of January.

“Our team has begun the contact tracing process to notify anyone who may have been in close contact with me,” Yang said in a statement. “Our safety protocols require staffers who participate in in-person campaign activities get tested on a weekly basis.”

Following the Jan. 19 Covid-19 scare, the campaign began conducting temperature checks on staffers. At a recent campaigning event on Jan. 27, Yang campaign staffers were also sporting black “Yang for New York” masks over surgical ones — the latest recommendation from Anthony Fauci to wear two masks in the face of highly infectious Covid-19 variants.

Jake Sporn, a spokesperson for the campaign, said they are unsure whether Yang has contracted one of the new Covid-19 variants. Yang received his results from a home rapid test, Sporn said.

“During this time, I will continue to attend as many virtual events as possible, in addition to working with our incredible campaign team to continue our mission of getting New York City back on its feet,” Yang said. “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.”

Following the announcement, Yang made a fundraising pitch off of his diagnosis.

“In all seriousness if you want me to feel better donate to my campaign!” he tweeted. “Then I can relax.”

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