Sen. Loranne Ausley on Monday tested positive for COVID-19, making her the second Big Bend lawmaker to contract the virus this week.
Ausley, a Democrat who represents SD 3, said she will remain engaged in Senate work throughout committee week in a Facebook post.
“I have a good idea of how and where I was exposed and because of that have been quarantining since Saturday,”: Ausley wrote. “Thankfully, so far, I am only experiencing minor symptoms and will continue to follow CDC and Senate protocols before returning to in-person committee meetings.”
Ausley continued: “While I will be actively engaged in Senate work and watching meetings from quarantine, I want to express emphatically, for the safety of your family, friends and colleagues, PLEASE WEAR A MASK!”
SD 3 covers mostly rural North Florida counties, including Calhoun, Franklin, Gadsden, Gulf, Hamilton, Jefferson, Leon, Liberty, Madison, Taylor, and Wakulla counties in North Florida.
Ausley is the second Big Bend lawmaker to test positive this week.
Rep. Jason Shoaf on Sunday announced he tested positive for COVID-19. Shoaf, who represents HD 7, subsequently missed Monday’s committee week launch, though he plans to attend virtually.
Shoaf said he is “feeling fine,” adding: “We have a lot of work to do for our state, and I plan to return to meeting in person as soon as it is safe to do so.”
Shoaf is vice-chair of the House Secondary Education & Career Development Subcommittee, which is not scheduled to meet this week.
His other committee assignments include the House Government Operations Subcommittee and House Tourism, Infrastructure, and Energy Subcommittee, which hold meetings Wednesday.
Shoaf represents Calhoun, Franklin, Gulf, Jefferson, Lafayette, Liberty, Madison, Taylor, and Wakulla counties and Leon County. He was first elected to House District 7 in 2019.
Meanwhile, Ausley’s committee assignments include Agriculture, Appropriations Subcommittee on Agriculture, Environment, and General Government, Appropriations Subcommittee on Transportation, Tourism, and Economic Development, Environment and Natural Resources Select Committee on Pandemic Preparedness and Response, and Joint Administrative Procedures Committee.
The second interim committee week began Monday.