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Jacksonville City councilman tests positive for COVID-19; Another councilman self-isolates at home

Councilman Sam Newby tested positive for COVID-19 and is undergoing treatment.

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. — A Jacksonville City councilman has tested positive for COVID-19 and is being treated at St. Vincent's Hospital while another councilman is self-isolating at home, according to Mayor Lenny Curry.

Curry tweeted just after 9 p.m. Sunday that Councilman Sam Newby tested positive for the virus but that his health is improving. Curry also said Councilman Randy White is self-isolating at home after visiting Newby at the hospital within the last 48 hours. Curry said White has no symptoms.

Newby said in a statement that he was confirmed for exposure to the virus late Saturday night. He also said that he hasn't been to work since March 3 due to a separate initial ailment. 

RELATED: Councilman Randy White: 'Absolutely no symptoms, I feel great'

"Therefore, the risk of exposure to my colleagues and other city workers is minimal to none," he said. "I am currently in the hospital, receiving treatment and I’m looking forward to a full recovery. I appreciate your prayers and support as my family, and I navigate through this process."

Councilman Garret Dennis, who sits next to Newby during meetings, told First Coast News that he recently spoke to the city council's president Sunday night about his concerns over the city council chambers. Dennis said the suites need to be disinfected and that he wants the council president to postpone Monday's emergency meeting. 

RELATED: 'This must be taken seriously' Mayor Lenny Curry warns against large gatherings amid COVID-19 concerns

He also called for COVID-19 tests to be available for all city employees at City Hall.

"We all interact with each other ... in closed and confined spaces," Dennis said.

Earlier Sunday, St. Vincent's confirmed two patients are being treated for COVID-19 at their hospitals in Clay County and Riverside.

Credit: Will Dickey, Florida Times-Union
Jacksonville City Councilman Sam Newby.

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