Top Massachusetts Health Official Tests Positive For Coronavirus

BOSTON (WBZ NewsRadio) — Massachusetts Public Health Commissioner Dr. Monica Bharel has tested positive for coronavirus, she announced Friday evening.

Bharel, a leader in the state's fight against the virus, said she was tested on Thursday night and received the results on Friday from the State Public Health Laboratory.

"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 in a statement. "My symptoms so far have been mild. I have notified my appropriate close contacts and will rest and recuperate at home, while continuing to carry out my work responsibilities remotely."

Bharel also said the offices at the Department of Public Health will be cleaned thoroughly over the weekend.

As a key figure in the state's coronavirus response, Bharel often works closely with Gov. Charlie Baker. In a statement released Friday night, Baker said "Lt. Governor Polito and I wish Dr. Bharel a speedy recovery and are glad she is recuperating at home. Dr. Bharel is doing exactly what everyone should be doing, which is staying home if you feel sick and taking this virus very seriously."

It is unclear if Gov. Baker plans to be tested for coronavirus.

(Photo: Getty Images)

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