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Rep. Jason Shoaf.

Coronavirus in Florida

Lobbyist who attended Florida House Republican’s fundraiser tests positive for COVID-19

The Port St. Joe Republican assures attendees took social distancing precautions.

Rep. Jason Shoaf is calling attendees to his Labor Day weekend fundraiser after a lobbyist in attendance tested positive for COVID-19.

The event, billed as “Rep. Shoaf Port St. Joe Weekend,” saw members board scalloping boats, enjoy a family dinner at Shoaf’s home and explore Port St. Joe. All throughout, the first-term Representative said they took precautions to prevent the spread of the novel disease.

“First and foremost, the health and safety of my friends, supporters and colleagues is that of utmost importance,” Shoaf said in a statement to Florida Politics Wednesday. “Know that, when we were fortunate to host a number of folks in my district over the holiday weekend, we took every effort to keep them safe and well.”

Guests arrived Friday evening and checked out Monday morning from either Port Inn or Mainstay Suites.

So far, everyone that has taken a rapid test has returned negative, the Representative said.

“Out of an abundance of caution, we took every precaution possible,” he added.

Precautions included temperature checks, providing masks, using hand sanitizer and halving capacity on transportation¬† to and from the hotel, marina and the Shoaf’s home. Events were held outdoors and safety remained number one, the Representative assured.

“I hope these efforts were successful in keeping others safe from exposure,” he said. “I have personally called everyone to let them know and will continue to follow up with them.”

A lengthy note on the flyer advertising the event said that social distancing protocols would be enforced, including mask-wearing while not seated and eating. Port St. Joe has mandated that people wear masks.

Additionally, all transportation was disinfected in between attendees.

In an update Thursday, Shoaf said there were 28 negative results and no positives, and no reports of symptoms. Attendees are still waiting on several more test results to come in.

“I believe we showed how we can still live our lives with COVID-19 by taking common sense precautions,” Shoaf said.

In July, a lobbyist at a House Republican fundraiser later tested positive.

Lawmakers also had a COVID-19 scare in the final days of the 2020 Session in March Five lawmakers temporarily self-isolated after three attended the Conservative Political Action Conference, or CPAC, and two attended the American Israel Public Affairs Committee conference.

Written By

Renzo Downey covers the Florida Legislature for Florida Politics. After graduating from Northwestern University in 2019, Renzo began his reporting career in the Lone Star State, covering state government for the Austin American-Statesman. Shoot Renzo an email at renzo@floridapolitics.com and follow him on Twitter @RenzoDowney.

7 Comments

7 Comments

  1. S.B. ANTHONY

    September 9, 2020 at 1:27 pm

    LMFAO. But at least the virus is a hoax, so no worries.

  2. James Robert Miles

    September 10, 2020 at 7:52 am

    Yeah, it’s just going to disappear says Trump. We are still waiting!!

  3. vicky

    September 10, 2020 at 9:41 pm

    Do they think it doesn’t spread while seated and eating? You’re supposed to only eat with people who are in your quarantine bubble, doofus. If they’re not in your bubble then you socially distance while eating. “Halving” transportation doesn’t cut it. You need well-ventilated transportation.

  4. Sonja Fitch

    September 11, 2020 at 5:08 am

    At this point any adult ignoring the trumpvirus precautions deserves any and all repercussions including death! The goptrump cult members are brainwashed and braindead! But we have to be vigilant in protecting our children!

    • J. A. Drake

      September 11, 2020 at 4:17 pm

      (Here’s my imitation of you with exclamation points!) Not one single college student out of 25k infected after school reopened is hospitalized! Democrats seem to be afraid of viruses way more than normal thinking people! We need common sense! This is only a virus, not a death sentence! And even the NYT said about 90% of positive tested were not contagious! But please, do me a favor and mail in your votes so it can get lost!

    • John McMahon

      September 13, 2020 at 5:01 pm

      SONJA? AGAIN with calling for the death of fellow Americans LIKE 80% of your other posts? HOW does calling for violence and death to Republicans help our cause for peace Joe Biden and Kamala Harris have been speaking about?
      At first I thought you were just a severely LOW IQ undereducated hater who has no family or friends because you call for death often , which leads me to think you are actually an angry conservative posing on line as a PROGRESSIVE encouraging VIOLENCE. I think you are NOT a Democrat but a conservative Con artist stirring up hate ! Get some real help because it’s NOT working.

  5. J. A. Drake

    September 11, 2020 at 4:14 pm

    Who the hell cares? It’s a virus, not a death sentence. When people got the flu it didn’t make the news. The chicken-littles seem to think that getting a virus is a death sentence. News flash: viruses have been around r 309 million years and they’re not going anywhere. Wake up and live life without being afraid.

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