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Mayor-elect Gainey tests negative for COVID-19 on more accurate PCR test

Election 2021-Mayor Pittsburgh Ed Gainey
Keith Srakocic
Ed Gainey on Wednesday, Oct. 13, 2021.

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.