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Chris Latvala talks about his struggle with COVID-19.

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Chris Latvala tests positive for COVID-19

Latvala is currently hospitalized at Largo Medical Center, but expects to make a full recovery.

Rep. Chris Latvala tested positive for COVID-19, he announced on Facebook Sunday evening.

“Yesterday, 3,197 Floridians tested positive for Covid-19. I was one of them,” Latvala wrote.

He said he has been experiencing symptoms for a couple of days and has been self-isolating since Wednesday.

Latvala is currently hospitalized at Largo Medical Center, but expects to make a full recovery.

“Thank you to all the heroes on the front lines of this pandemic. I want to especially thank the heroes of Largo (Medical) Center. I am in awe not only how they treat me but all the other patients. My stay here should be a short one. I will be fine. Thank you for your prayers,” he wrote.

Latvala said his symptoms vary and cautioned constituents to continue taking precautions to protect themselves and others from COVID-19.

“This pandemic is not over but we will get through it. Keep wearing masks, social distancing, and washing your hands frequently,” he wrote.

Within ten minutes of posting his diagnosis, Latvala had already received an outpouring of well-wishes from constituents.

“Get well soon! I’ll be praying for a fast recovery,” wrote Zita Velazquez.

Latvala serves Florida House District 67, which covers parts of mid- and north-Pinellas County, including Largo.

With 2,583 cases confirmed Sunday in the Florida Department of Health daily report, 621,586 people have now tested positive for the virus, including 614,753 residents.

COVID-19 data has been slowing for much of August. Sunday’s report confirmed just 15 new deaths related to the virus, the fewest deaths reported in a single day since late June.

Deaths are a lagging indicator and earlier this month were surging even as the case load decreased. With deaths slowing statewide, it’s an indication the state has rounded the corner past the worst of the pandemic so far.

Local health officials are still waiting to see how school reopenings affect new cases. So far in Pinellas County, nine schools have reported cases among students and staff. Of those, six school have issued quarantines, affecting at least 12 classes. Those reports don’t include cases reported Friday, which the school district has not yet released. That data is expected Monday.

Janelle Irwin Taylor has been a professional journalist covering local news and politics in Tampa Bay since 2003. Most recently, Janelle reported for the Tampa Bay Business Journal. She formerly served as senior reporter for WMNF News. Janelle has a lust for politics and policy. When she’s not bringing you the day’s news, you might find Janelle enjoying nature with her husband, children and two dogs. You can reach Janelle at Janelle@floridapolitics.com.

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