BOSTON (CBS) – Massachusetts Public Health Commissioner Monica Bharel announced she has tested positive for COVID-19. Bharel said her symptoms have been mild and she was tested Thursday night.

“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,” Dr. Bharel said in a statement Friday night.

She has notified her close contacts and will recover at home while working remotely. The Department of Public Health offices will be cleaned over the weekend.

Public Health Commissioner Monica Bharel, MD, MPH (Image credit

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

Governor Charlie Baker and Lt. Gov. Karyn Polito wished Dr. Bharel a speedy recovery. “Dr. Bharel is doing exactly what everyone should be doing, which is staying home if you feel sick and taking this virus very seriously,” Baker said.

On Friday, the Massachusetts Department of Public Health announced that 35 people have now died from coronavirus and there have been 3,240 positive tests.


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