Politics

New Florida Mayor inaugurated virtually after testing positive for COVID-19 

The new Mayor of St. Petersburg, Florida, will be sworn in virtually on Thursday instead of on the steps of City Hall, as planned, due to a positive COVID-19 test.

Ken Welch had his in-person inauguration scheduled for this week, but will instead be sworn in from his home as he isolates after positive rapid and positive PCR COVID-19 tests on Monday.

“Let this serve as a reminder to all of us to get vaccinated and follow CDC guidelines to minimize the spread of COVID-19,” Welch said in a statement. “While this is disappointing, I am incredibly thankful that my current symptoms are not serious, and I keep in my thoughts and prayers all the families who have lost so much more to this pandemic.”

Pinellas County, where St. Petersburg is located, reported a 19.5 percent positivity rate on January 1. To date, the county has recorded 146,000 COVID-19 cases, and 2778 deaths. 

The Mayor-elect was vaccinated in early 2021, and received a booster in November. Welch expects to begin work at City Hall on Monday after his isolation period. He will take over from Mayor Rick Kriseman, whose term limits will end his time in office this week. Welch will be St. Petersburg’s first Black mayor.

ARTICLE: LAURA SPIVAK

MANAGING EDITOR: CARSON CHOATE

PHOTO CREDITS: FOX NEWS

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Laura is a freelance writer out of Maryland and a mom of three. Her background is in political science and international relations, and she has been doing political writing and editing for 17 years. Laura has also written parenting pieces for the Today Show and is currently working on writing a collection of remarkable true stories about normal people. She writes for FBA because unbiased news is vital to unity, and readers deserve the facts free of opinion.

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