ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. — St. Petersburg Mayor-elect Ken Welch is taking steps in an effort to prevent the spread of COVID-19 before he even takes office.
He has postponed numerous upcoming celebratory events, citing the recent spike in COVID cases stemming from the omicron variant.
The Community Reception scheduled for 1 p.m. on Jan. 6 in Williams Park following the mayoral inauguration will be postponed, along with the Mayor and City Council Reception planned for Jan. 8 at the Dali Museum.
“St. Petersburg has led through this pandemic with compassion, discipline and resilience. However, as we see COVID-19 cases spike throughout our community, we must continue to make the responsible choices that protect each other,” Welch said in a news release.
“Out of an abundance of caution, we will postpone these events till such time that we can safely celebrate together.”
Welch, the first Black candidate elected to the office, will be sworn in as St. Petersburg's 54th mayor on Jan. 6. Unvaccinated individuals attending the inauguration are asked to wear a mask and follow CDC guidelines.