Massachusetts’ public health commissioner tests positive for COVID-19


BOSTON (WPRI) – The leader of the Massachusetts Department of Public Health has tested positive for COVID-19.

In a statement Friday, Dr. Monica Bharel said she was tested Thursday night after beginning to experience mild symptoms. She learned of her positive test results Friday afternoon.

“As the public health commissioner and an essential state employee, I have been vigilant about practicing social distancing from my colleagues and members of the public,” Bharel said. “I have notified my appropriate close contacts and will rest and recuperate at home while continuing to carry out my work responsibilities remotely.”

Bharel said the DPH offices will be cleaned thoroughly over the weekend out of an abundance of caution.

“I hope everyone will continue to take seriously the threat of COVID-19,” she said.

Bharel has not been seen alongside Gov. Charlie Baker at the state’s daily coronavirus briefings since Monday.

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