Mayor-elect Welch on COVID diagnosis: ‘I’m definitely looking at this as glass half full’

Coronavirus

ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. (WFLA) — St. Petersburg Mayor-elect Ken Welch said he believes the science is working.

On Monday, his campaign announced he had tested positive for COVID-19, despite the fact he had been vaccinated and received his booster shot.

“I’m still functioning, and it feels to me like a regular cold,” Welch said via Zoom. “And so I think the science works. This is a good example of that.”

Welch has made his rounds throughout the community, holding a number of roundtable type gatherings, asking for the public’s input on the city’s future direction. He also recently made a trip to the White House in Washington D.C., where he again urged people to get vaccinated.

He’s not sure where he picked up the virus.

“I’ve obviously had a lot of contact during the campaign and this year,” he said. “Attended a watch night service last week and then the emancipation day service, those were all socially distanced.”

Welch was supposed to be sworn in on Thursday at St. Petersburg City Hall. He will be the first Black mayor in the city’s history.

It was supposed to be an in-person event, but is now going to take place virtually as the mayor-elect will still be in quarantine.

“I’m definitely looking at this as glass half full,” Welch said. “We’ll have time to celebrate moving forward, and I’m kind of a workaholic anyway, and I’m just ready to get to work.”

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