Montgomery County Commissioner Val Arkoosh, one of the leading Democrats running for the U.S. Senate this year, has tested positive for COVID-19, her office said Monday.
Arkoosh, who is a doctor and chair of the county commissioners council, hopes to win the Democratic nomination in the race to replace incumbent U.S. Senator Pat Toomey.
“This morning I tested positive for COVID-19 using a home test,” Arkoosh said in a statement. “Fortunately, my symptoms are extremely mild, which I attribute to having received 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 in the Senate, and dozens of Democrats and Republicans are running for their party primaries. The primary is scheduled for May and the general election will be held in November.
Arkoosh said she will continue to work except that 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 omicron and delta variants.
Arkoosh’s public profile increased at the onset of the coronavirus pandemic when in early 2020 she began holding daily virtual press conferences. Montgomery County was the site of one of the first outbreaks of COVID-19 in Pennsylvania.
“We are seeing an increase in cases here in Montgomery County and cases are increasing across the Commonwealth and the country. Frontline workers and hospital systems are feeling the impact. We must continue to be vigilant and do our utmost. possible to protect ourselves and others, which means continuing to hide and get vaccinated and boosted. ”