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Jacksonville City Councilman recovering after testing positive for coronavirus

The Councilman is on the mend.

“I am home and doing well.”

With those six words, Jacksonville City Councilman Sam Newby signaled that he will be one of the lucky ones who recovers after contracting COVID-19.

Newby was one of the city’s first positive tests for the novel coronavirus, and even though Council has stopped meeting, members expressed how they were “disturbed and disappointed” about their own risks in a Monday emergency meeting where many members phoned in.

Councilwoman Joyce Morgan wondered if she and others should be tested, but asymptomatic individuals are not planned to be tested, she was told.

“I’m nervous … I feel like I should have been tested yesterday,” said Councilman Reggie Gaffney. “How can I be tested? How soon should I be tested?”

Gaffney wanted a written guarantee that he’s OK, before being reassured that if he hadn’t had a close-talk conversation with Newby in the preceding two weeks, he should be OK.

Newby’s status was confirmed by Jacksonville Mayor Lenny Curry on Sunday night.

“Today I learned from Councilman Sam Newby That he was being treated at St. Vincent’s hospital and had been informed of a positive test result for COVID-19,” Curry tweeted. “Because Councilman Randy White visited CM Newby at the hospital within the last 48 hours, CM White is self isolating at home.”

Newby is among a select group of Florida elected leaders to test positive.

Miami Mayor Francis Suarez tested positive last week after making contact with Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro‘s press secretary, Fabio Wajngarten.

Suarez relayed the results to the Miami Herald Friday morning.

Republican U.S. Rep. Mario Diaz-Balart of Miami earlier this week tested positive for COVID-19, the first member of Congress to do so.

He has been self-quarantining since Friday after voting on the House floor. He came down with symptoms on Saturday. He received word that he had the disease Wednesday evening.

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Florida Politics’ Scott Powers contributed to this post. 

Written By

A.G. Gancarski has been a working journalist for over two decades. Gancarski has been a correspondent for FloridaPolitics.com since 2014. In 2018, he was a finalist for an Association of Alternative Newsweeklies "best political column." He can be reached at a.g.gancarski@gmail.com.

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