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Politics & Government

Ed Gainey's mayoral inauguration to be online-only

Election 2021-Mayor Pittsburgh Ed Gainey
AP
/
AP
In this file photo from Oct. 13, 2021, Ed Gainey, Democratic candidate for Pittsburgh mayor, addresses people gathered for Josh Shapiro's campaign launch for Pennsylvania governor, in Pittsburgh.

Pittsburgh mayor-to-be Ed Gainey’s swearing-in ceremony next week will be conducted virtually, a concession to the tenacious coronavirus which already has cast a shadow over local governance for nearly two years.

Gainey’s team announced Tuesday that the Jan.3 event and a prayer service the day before will be viewable by the public online “in accordance with guidance from public health officials.”

The move was not a total surprise: Gainey himself disclosed an exposure to COVID-19 last week. Although a subsequent PCR test confirmed it was a false alarm, concern about the virus prompted Gainey to move a previously scheduled press event — the unveiling of his transition team — to Zoom. At the time, Gainey suggested that with the threat of the omicron variant looming, his team already had been planning to shift events online. His own potential exposure was a reminder of “why we need to protect one another," he said.

Gainey’s inauguration will be carried out at 1 p.m. Monday, Jan. 3, and broadcast on the city’s cable channel as well as its social media accounts on YouTube, Facebook and Twitter.

An “Interfaith Prayer for Pittsburgh’s Future” will take place at 3 p.m. Sunday, Jan. 2, and — as a non-official event — be streamed on Gainey’s own Facebook and Twitter accounts.