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Several Lawmakers Miss Organizational Session Due To COVID-19

Florida Capitol with dolphin statues jumping in front of tall new capitol tower.
Nick Evans
Students from all over will be moving to Tallahassee for fall classes. That's causing some FSU students to worry that the influx of people could create an uptick in coronavirus cases.

Two members of the Florida Senate, and Seven House members missed the legislature’s organizational session Tuesday after testing positive for, or being exposed to, COVID-19.

Rep. Geraldine Thompson (D-Windermere) is one of them. She believes she picked up the virus while campaigning.

“In my case, I had run for re-election. I’d had a tough campaign. And I had in the course of the campaign been out circulating with people," said Thompson. "For example, the last weekend before elections I went to every early voting site in my district.”

Thompson knew she was sick and stayed home, but some members of the legislature were not aware they had contracted the virus until they arrived in Tallahassee and tested positive for COVID-19.

The Senate required all members to get testing before Tuesday’s session. Testing for House members was voluntary.

Blaise Gainey is a State Government Reporter for WFSU News. Blaise hails from Windermere, Florida. He graduated from The School of Journalism at the Florida A&M University. He formerly worked for The Florida Channel, WTXL-TV, and before graduating interned with WFSU News. He is excited to return to the newsroom. In his spare time he enjoys watching sports, Netflix, outdoor activities and anything involving his daughter.