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Mayor Scott tests positive for COVID

Baltimore City Mayor Brandon Scott was inaugurated 125 days ago, on December 8, 2020
Office of the Baltimore City Mayor
Baltimore City Mayor Brandon Scott.

Mayor Brandon Scott tested positive for COVID-19 Monday, his spokesman said in a statement to WYPR.

“The mayor is asymptomatic and currently feels fine. He will work remotely until he is officially cleared to return to City Hall,” spokesman Calvin Harris said.

Scott’s positive test is a breakthrough infection — the mayor received the Johnson & Johnson vaccine in mid-March. The CDC has not yet recommended booster shots for those who received the single-dose vaccine.

The mayor is quarantining from his Northeast Baltimore home.

The Democrat is tested for COVID several times a week; the exact timing of those tests depends on events on his public schedule, Harris said. Monday morning’s test was routine; he was tested a second time to confirm the positive result. Scott most recently tested negative for COVID on Friday afternoon.

Since then, he has attended several large gatherings, including the Parade of Latino Nations on Sunday and opening celebrations of the St. Francis Neighborhood Center and Parity Homes on Saturday.

Baltimore’s contact tracers are working to identify those in Scott’s orbit who may have been exposed, and Scott staffers who worked his weekend events are being tested, Harris said.

“This serves as another reminder of the vast challenges faced by the ongoing global pandemic. Despite being vaccinated and following Baltimore City’s health protocols, breakthrough infections are a real threat,” he said. “This could have been a different situation if Mayor Scott were not vaccinated, which is why he continues to work closely with Commissioner Dzirasa to support ongoing vaccination efforts across Baltimore.”

Emily Sullivan is a city hall reporter at WYPR, where she covers all things Baltimore politics. She joined WYPR after reporting for NPR’s national airwaves. There, she was a reporter for NPR’s news desk, business desk and presidential conflicts of interest team. Sullivan won a national Edward R. Murrow Award for an investigation into a Trump golf course's finances alongside members of the Embedded team. She has also won awards from the Chesapeake Associated Press Broadcasters Association for her use of sound and feature stories. She has provided news analysis on 1A, The Takeaway, Here & Now and All Things Considered.