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Incoming St. Petersburg Mayor Ken Welch Cancels Inauguration After Testing Positive for COVID

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After testing positive for COVID on Monday, incoming St. Petersburg Mayor Ken Welch canceled his public inaugural event on Thursday.

Welch, who announced he will follow Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) guidelines and isolate himself for five days, will be sworn in at his home and offer a speech online.

“Let this serve as a reminder to all of us to get vaccinated and follow CDC guidelines to minimize the spread of COVID-19,” said Welch who was vaccinated and received a booster shot in November.

“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,” he added.

Welch, who served on the Pinellas County Commission, enjoyed great success in last year’s mayoral race, taking 39.5 percent in the first round and pulling 60 percent in the general election to defeat St. Petersburg City Councilman Robert Blackmon.


  • Kevin Derby

    Originally from Jacksonville, Kevin Derby is a contributing writer for Florida Daily and covers politics across Florida.

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