U.S. Attorney Lawrence Keefe tested positive for COVID-19 on Monday following a trip to South Carolina to deal with an unrelated family medical emergency.
Keefe is currently experiencing mild symptoms. He feels as if he has a cold and that he is experiencing a loss of taste and smell.
He quickly notified the Justice Department in Washington, as well as his office. He will continue directing the activities of the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Northern District of Florida while until he recovers from the virus.
He had been scheduled to meet with federal and state law enforcement officials and community leaders to discuss gun violence in Gainesville Tuesday, and in Pensacola later in the week. He now plans to attend those meetings virtually.
Keefe scheduled a coronavirus test at Tallahassee Memorial Healthcare after he learned a family member who was with him in South Carolina had tested positive for the virus.
The trip was to see his youngest son, Patrick, who was recently diagnosed with a brain tumor. A personal note from Ron Sachs, whose public relations firm represents Keefe’s office, said Keefe regularly wears a mask and practices other guidelines aimed at mitigating the threat of infection.
Keefe was in South Carolina from June 14-21 and was last in the office on June 9, because he was with his family in their preparation for Patrick’s surgery and recovery.
“This is a strong reminder to all of us that no one is immune to the threat of COVID-19, and that even those who routinely follow safety protocols can be affected,” Sachs said.
He continued, “I have come to know Mr. Keefe as someone with the highest caliber of character — and whose highest concern is always the well-being of others. I know he wants to do everything possible to ensure that he doesn’t expose anyone else to COVID-19. He is also committed to transparency in conducting the business of the U.S. Attorney’s Office and wanted to let the public know about his situation.”