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Jacksonville City Council member tests positive for COVID-19

News4Jax spoke to council member Sam Newby and he said he is doing fine.

News4Jax spoke to council member Sam Newby and he said he is doing fine.
News4Jax spoke to council member Sam Newby and he said he is doing fine.

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – A Jacksonville City Council member has tested positive for COVID-19, News4Jax has confirmed.

Jacksonville Mayor Lenny Curry first shared the news that Councilman Sam Newby tested positive for the virus in a tweet Sunday night.

“Today I learned from Councilman Sam Newby that he was being treated at St. Vincent’s hospital and had been informed of a positive test result for COVID-19. Because Councilman Randy White visited CM Newby at the hospital within the last 48 hours, CM white is self isolating at home,” Curry wrote.

News4Jax spoke to Newby on the phone Sunday night and he said he is doing fine.

Newby said he is in isolation at St. Vincent’s hospital and is asking people to pray for him and others.

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 — said he self-quarantined earlier this week after he was feeling ill. Newby said in an email to City Council President Scott Wilson that he has not been in 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. 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,” Newby wrote in an email to Wilson on Sunday. “Therefore, the risk of exposure to my colleagues and other city workers is minimal to none.”

Councilmember Randy White has also self-quarantined as well after meeting with Newby last week. White is at home and told News4Jax he is doing fine with no symptoms.

“Information is fluid &moving fast,” Curry later tweeted. “This is a health crisis. I appreciate local media getting the facts out. It will get worse in the days ahead. We will get out of this if people listen to us on social distancing.

“Small Reported cases at this time are a false sense of security. These folks were infected before we knew it was in our city. The positives we will see in the days ahead are a result of week/s old transmission. We must stop this now as a community.”

About the Authors:

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

Digital reporter who has lived in Jacksonville for more than 25 years and focuses on important local issues like education and the environment.