Senate Democratic Leader tests positive for COVID-19

farmer, gary3
Gary Farmer is the third state lawmaker in recent days to test positive.

Senate Democratic Leader Gary Farmer announced Thursday he had tested positive for COVID-19. He’s the third state lawmaker this week to contract the virus.

“On Monday I tested negative for the virus via two different tests,” Farmer explained in a Thursday statement.

“A few hours after that test, I learned that I had been exposed to someone in Tallahassee who had tested positive. I immediately left the Capitol and have not returned since. Yesterday I retested, and very late last night I learned that I had tested positive.”

Farmer said he was feeling well, but was isolating as a precaution.

“There have been no symptoms, and I hope to recover from this infection quickly,” Farmer said.

“In accordance with CDC guidelines and Senate rules and protocols, I have been quarantining at home since Monday. However, I was not at any point in contact with anyone that would require anyone else to quarantine.”

On Monday, Rep. Jason Shoaf said he had tested positive for COVID-19 after becoming symptomatic Saturday. Shoaf began quarantining after the test, but Sen. Loranne Ausley blamed Shoaf after she tested positive as well.

“There’s no way to know with absolute certainty,” she said of the origin of her diagnosis. “However, I was at two delegation meetings Friday night, in enclosed rooms with a member of my delegation who was not wearing a mask.”

Ausley’s positive test came Sunday after she held several meetings with Shoaf in the days prior. Shoaf did not consistently wear a mask during those events. She too began isolating after Shoaf told her he was symptomatic Saturday.

It’s unclear where Farmer contracted the virus or how many additional lawmakers may have been exposed in recent days.

“I thank everyone for their concern and urge them to continue taking the precautions medical experts have recommended,” Farmer added to conclude his Thursday remarks. “Only through diligent protective measures and robust testing will we slow the spread of this virus until necessary levels of vaccination have been reached.”

Ryan Nicol

Ryan Nicol covers news out of South Florida for Florida Politics. Ryan is a native Floridian who attended undergrad at Nova Southeastern University before moving on to law school at Florida State. After graduating with a law degree he moved into the news industry, working in TV News as a writer and producer, along with some freelance writing work. If you'd like to contact him, send an email to [email protected]


  • Sonja Fitch

    January 29, 2021 at 4:19 am

    Yep goptrump death cult still trying the Nazi herd immunity bs! Wear a mask. Social distance. Wash your hands. You
    Dumb shits! Florida is a service economy! We are in a pandemic ! The burden is Floridas’. Either we have pandemic standards or our service economy continues to collapse !

  • Ian

    January 31, 2021 at 9:39 am

    Farmer said:
    “A few hours after that test, I learned that I had been exposed to someone in Tallahassee who had tested positive.”

    Sunburn said:
    Of course, Farmer had to no-show when the [Health Policy] committee met Wednesday because he is quarantining after being exposed to COVID-19. The positive contact? A woman he brought to the Senate Office Building in violation of chamber rules.

    Why is there no mention of this latter information in the article above? An even bigger question is, who is the woman and who does she lobby for?

Comments are closed.


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