Montgomery County Commissioner Val Arkoosh, one of the leading Democrats running for U.S. Senate this year, tested positive for COVID-19, her office said Monday.
Arkoosh, who is a medical doctor and chairwoman of the county commissioner's board, is hoping to win the Democratic nomination in the race to replace outgoing U.S. Sen. Pat Toomey.
"This morning, I tested positive for COVID-19 using an at-home test," Arkoosh said in a statement. "Fortunately, my symptoms are extremely mild, which I attribute to receiving the J&J vaccine and a Moderna booster."
Toomey, a Republican, announced last year that he would not run for a third six-year term. His resignation means the rare open seat to the Senate, and dozens of Democrats and Republicans are running in their parties' primaries. The primary is scheduled for May and the general election will be in November.
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Arkoosh said she will continue to work, except it will be virtually and from home. She added that everyone should continue to follow social distancing and masking recommendations as COVID-19 cases continue to rise amid the spread of the omicron and delta variants.
Arkoosh's public profile rose during the early days of the coronavirus pandemic when in early 2020 she began holding daily virtual press conferences. Montgomery County was the site of one of the initial outbreaks of COVID-19 in Pennsylvania.
"We are seeing an increase in cases here in Montgomery County and cases are surging across the Commonwealth and country. Frontline workers and hospital systems are feeling the impact. We need to continue to be vigilant and do everything we can to protect ourselves and others, which means continuing to mask up and getting vaccinated and boosted.”