Mass. DPH commissioner tests positive for COVID-19


Monica Bharel, the state’s public health commissioner, has tested positive for COVID-19, according to the Department of Public Health (DPH). 

In a statement issued Friday, Bharel confirmed she was tested Thursday night and received her 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. My symptoms so far have been mild,” Bharel said in a statement. “I have notified my appropriate close contacts and will rest and recuperate at home, while continuing to carry out my work responsibilities remotely.”

The DPH offices will be thoroughly cleaned over the weekend, according to the statement.

Gov. Charlie Baker will not be tested as he is asymptomatic, according to the State House News Service.

“Lt. Governor Polito and I wish Dr. Bharel a speedy recovery and are glad she is recuperating at home,” Baker said in a statement Friday. “Dr. Bharel is doing exactly what everyone should be doing, which is staying home if you feel sick and taking this virus very seriously.”