2 staff members to Sen. Loeffler test positive for COVID

The office of U.S. Sen. Kelly Loeffler says two staff members tested positive for the coronavirus, but a subsequent test of the Georgia Republican came back negative

Loeffler was tested on Friday after learning about the positive tests of two Senate staff members, her office said in a brief statement.

The statement did not say whether the senator had close contact with the staff members or planned additional tests. An email to a spokesman was not immediately returned.

“Senator Loeffler is more energized than ever to vote to confirm Amy Coney Barrett as the next Supreme Court Justice on Monday before returning home and traveling the state to meet with hardworking Georgians,” the statement said.

Loeffler took office this past January after being appointed by Republican Gov. Brian Kemp to replace retiring GOP Sen. Johnny Isakson.

She is trying to hold on to the seat this November, but faces a tough challenge from fellow Republican Doug Collins, a four-term congressman, and Democrat Raphael Warnock, pastor of the Atlanta church where the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr. preached.

A Jan. 5 runoff between the race’s top two candidates — likely Warnock and either Loeffler or Collins — will be required if nobody wins more than 50% in November.