Mayor-elect Gainey tests negative for COVID-19 on more accurate PCR test
A follow-up, and more accurate, COVID test for Mayor-elect Ed Gainey indicates that he has not contracted the coronavirus, according to a statement issued around lunchtime Wednesday.
"[I]t is extremely important that everybody in Pittsburgh get a COVID-19 vaccine and a booster, and that everyone use recommended masking procedures when in public spaces," said Gainey. "[T]he risk from COVID-19, including from its new variant Omicron, is still a major public health threat."
Gainey has been touting his vaccination status since this past spring, and he says he has received a booster shot since then.
During a previously scheduled Monday press conference that had hastily been switched to a Zoom meeting, he revealed that while he had no symptoms of the disease, he had taken a rapid test that morning after being notified of an exposure on Saturday to the virus.
The results of that test, he said, had been "slightly positive," a term that he did not explain at the time. In his statement Tuesday, he ascribed it to his primary care physician, who said it "indicat[ed] that further testing was necessary to rule out a false positive."
False positives are rare but not unheard of for rapid-antigen tests, and the PCR is the gold standard for accuracy.
He is set to be sworn in on January 3.