City Councilman who tested positive for COVID-19 is out of hospital

Sam Newby says he will self-quarantine at home until he gets cleared by negative test results

Jacksonville City Council member Sam Newby. (News4Jax)

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – Sam Newby, the Jacksonville City Council member who tested positive last weekend for coronavirus, has been released from the hospital.

Newby was being treated at St. Vincent’s but announced on social media Thursday that he was back home.

“I’m doing fine. I’m doing good,” Newby told News4Jax.

He said he’s taken all his medications and that the hospital said he was well enough to go home.

He said he’s been tested again for COVID-19 but has not yet gotten the results. He said he will self-quarantine at home until his test comes back negative.

Messages from well-wishers poured in on his social media post:

Giving honor to God who is my Provider, my Protector and my Promise Keeper! On behalf of my Beautiful, Supportive,...

Posted by Councilman Sam Newby on Thursday, March 19, 2020

Newby previously told News4Jax that he had not traveled recently and had no idea how he was exposed to the disease.

Newby, who is an at-large council member for Group 5 which covers a large section of Northwest Jacksonville and a portion of the Westside, told News4Jax he originally went to the hospital on March 6 complaining of stomach problems -- not a symptom of coronavirus. When he returned Saturday, he tested positive for the novel coronavirus and was placed in isolation.

Newby said he self-quarantined during the week and sent Council President Scott Wilson an email about being ill. He said he had not been to City Hall since March 3.

“Out of concern and consideration for my colleagues and staff members, I feel it’s my duty to be transparent about my current condition," Newby wrote in an email to Wilson on Sunday. "I learned late Saturday night (3/14), that I was confirmed for exposure to the coronavirus (COVID-19). Nevertheless, I am relieved to inform you that, due to my initial ailment, (which is not believed to have been the coronavirus) I haven’t reported to work since, March 3, 2020. Therefore, the risk of exposure to my colleagues and other city workers is minimal to none.”

Councilman Randy White visited Newby in the hospital before the positive confirmation and followed medical advice to self-quarantine but learned Wednesday he was negative for COVID-19.

Newby’s wife, who is an employee of the Duval County Supervisor of Elections, has not shown any symptoms but is not going to work.

About the Authors:

Jim Piggott is the reporter to count on when it comes to city government and how it will affect the community.

A Jacksonville native and proud University of North Florida alum, Francine Frazier has been with News4Jax since 2014 after spending nine years at The Florida Times-Union.