Municipal officials throughout Florida on alert after positive COVID-19 case at Orlando meeting of 100s

coronavirus COVID-19
Meeting participants who are not fully vaccinated should get tested.

Hundreds of public officials might have been exposed to COVID-19 at a statewide conference in Orlando last week.

After a Florida League of Cities meeting that drew hundreds of local officials from around the state Friday, one person has tested positive for the virus, according to an email from Casey Cook, director of legislative affairs for the league.

Meeting participants who are not fully vaccinated should get tested, Cook wrote.

“This email is to notify you that you may have been exposed to COVID-19 during the policy committee meetings in Orlando last week,” Cook said in the email to attendees. “A member of one of the policy committees has tested positive.”

Cook did not specify which of the committees the person who tested positive is serving on, or whether he or she had symptoms.

Elected officials who volunteer on the league’s five legislative policy committees were meeting at the Hyatt Regency International Orlando Airport to set the legislative agenda for the league and Florida’s 411 municipalities.

Coral Springs Commissioner Joy Carter was there, working on the league’s Municipal Administration Committee and had not heard about the exposure until Monday night.

She said the majority of the attendees were not wearing masks during the indoor meetings.

“I’m vaccinated,” she said, explaining she got her second dose of Pfizer on Feb. 1.

She doesn’t have much to worry about, according to Cook’s email.

“For those of you who are fully vaccinated, the CDC (Centers for Disease Control) does not require you to quarantine or be tested,” Cook wrote. “However, if you are fully vaccinated and experiencing any symptoms, the CDC recommends that you get tested.”

Florida is in the midst of a surge of COVID-19 cases. Last Friday the Florida Department of Health reported 45,605 newly confirmed cases of COVID-19 during the week ending last Thursday. Statewide, that total was a 92% increase over the previous weekly report.

It can take two to 14 days after exposure for people to test positive for the virus.

Cook referred attendees to CDC guidelines: “Fully vaccinated people with no COVID-like symptoms following an exposure to someone with suspected or confirmed COVID-19: Most fully vaccinated people with no COVID-like symptoms do not need to quarantine, be restricted from work, or be tested following an exposure to someone with suspected or confirmed COVID-19, as their risk of infection is low. However, they should still monitor for symptoms of COVID-19 for 14 days following an exposure.” More information can be found here.”

Anne Geggis

Anne Geggis is a South Florida journalist who began her career in Vermont and has worked at the Sun-Sentinel, the Daytona Beach News-Journal and the Gainesville Sun covering government issues, health and education. She was a member of the Sun-Sentinel team that won the 2019 Pulitzer Prize for coverage of the Parkland high school shooting. You can reach her on Twitter @AnneBoca or by emailing [email protected]


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