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.