Murkowski out of brief quarantine for suspected COVID-19

U.S. Sen. Lisa Murkowski in 2016. She is running for re-election in 2022. During a recent campaign fundraiser, she spoke by video call and told attendees she had tested positive for COVID-19. She later tested negative twice. (Liz Ruskin / Alaska Public Media)

U.S. Sen. Lisa Murkowski was briefly in quarantine but her office says she’s had two negative tests within 24 hours and does not have COVID-19.

Murkowski is fully vaccinated and habitually wears a mask in the Capitol and at public indoor events. She appeared by video call at a campaign fundraiser Tuesday at the home of ConocoPhillips Alaska President Erec Isaacson. 

Political consultant Jim Lottsfeldt was there. He said Murkowski told attendees that she traveled in the Lower 48 and got tested when she returned to Alaska. The test didn’t come back right away, and when it did it was positive. She tested again. By Tuesday night she’d already had one negative test result. The second negative test came back Wednesday. Her husband has also tested negative. 

Murkowski’s spokeswoman said the senator followed CDC guidelines for individuals with no symptoms. She noted the current surge in cases in Alaska.

“Right now, Alaska is breaking records on how many people are being hospitalized with COVID,” Murkowski’s spokeswoman said in a text statement. “This pandemic is real and it’s impacting people of all ages. She (Murkowski) continues to encourage all Alaskans who are able to get the vaccine.”

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Liz Ruskin is the Washington, D.C., correspondent for Alaska Public Media. She reports from the U.S. Capitol and from Anchorage. Reach her at lruskin@alaskapublic.org.

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