ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. (WFLA) – St. Petersburg Mayor-elect Ken Welch has tested positive for COVID-19 and his inauguration ceremony scheduled for Jan. 6 has been canceled.

Welch will be sworn in virtually on Thursday from home and plans to conduct a short speech virtually.

“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 Mayor-elect Ken Welch. “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.”

Welch will make history when he is sworn in as the first Black mayor of St. Petersburg. Welch will work from home until he is cleared from isolation, and following CDC guidelines is expected to begin working from City Hall on Jan. 10. He will be the city’s 54th mayor.