South Florida Lawmaker Tests Positive For COVID-19

Jul 2, 2020

Rep. Shevrin Jones announced Wednesday he tested positive for COVID-19, becoming the first state lawmaker to have a publicly confirmed case of the disease.

“Transparent moment: For those who think it’s a game, it’s not. I have tested positive for Covid. I feel awful, and I don’t wish this on anyone,” Jones, D-West Park, wrote on Twitter.

Jones, who can’t seek reelection to the House this year because of term limits, is running in a crowded Democratic primary to represent Senate District 35. The South Florida district includes parts of Broward and Miami-Dade counties and is open because Sen. Oscar Braynon, D-Miami Gardens, is term-limited.

While Jones is the first lawmaker to confirm a positive test for COVID-19, worries about the virus were in full view in March when lawmakers were in Tallahassee wrapping up this year’s legislative session.

The House took a recess on March 9 because of concerns that five members had attended conferences in Washington, D.C., that included participants who subsequently had tested positive for the virus.

The five House members were eventually cleared. When lawmakers met March 18 to vote on the state budget for the 2020-2021 fiscal year, House members were subjected to health screening before convening a floor session.