An in-person inauguration ceremony scheduled Thursday for St. Petersburg Mayor-elect Ken Welch had to be canceled after he tested positive for COVID-19.
Welch, who was elected in November, tested positive Monday, according to a news release from his campaign organization.
He had planned an inauguration ceremony on the steps of City Hall but will be sworn in Thursday during a virtual ceremony.
Welch is vaccinated, including with a booster shot, the announcement said. He will begin working at City Hall on Jan. 10.
“Let this serve as a reminder to all of us to get vaccinated and follow CDC (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention) guidelines to minimize the spread of COVID-19,” Welch said in a prepared statement Monday.
“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. Though we will not be able to celebrate in person, let us keep front of mind the significance of the day — the day that we begin a journey together, as one community in one city, toward inclusive progress. We will have much more to celebrate together in the years to come.”