Some lawmakers missed the Legislature’s organization session Tuesday because of COVID-19

Some lawmakers did not attend the Legislature's organization session Tuesday because they tested positive for COVID-19. Source: Screengrab from the Florida Channel.

The list of Florida lawmakers who have tested positive for COVID-19 has been rising, but we don’t know by how much.

During the Legislature’s organizational session in Tallahassee on Tuesday, two state senators were excused, and it was already known that they had tested positive for COVID-19.

They are state Sen. Ray Rodrigues, a Republican who represents part of Lee County, according to Florida Politics, and Sen. Tom Wright, a Republican who represents parts of Brevard and Volusia counties, according to The Daytona Beach News-Journal.

In conversation with the Florida Phoenix, Senate spokeswoman Katie Betta said she recently spoke with Wright and reported that he was “doing well.” At the time of the conversation she had not spoken with Rodrigues.

Meanwhile, at least seven members of the House of Representatives were not in their chamber, but it was not clear why they were gone.

In a press availability, newly-elected Speaker of the House Chris Sprowls, a Republican who represents part of Pinellas, acknowledged that some members of the House tested positive for COVID-19 prior to the session and did not attend.

He did not say who or how many members received a positive test result.

State Rep. Geraldine Thompson, a Democrat from Orange County, had previously announced that she had tested positive for COVID-19 early November. She was one of the seven who was not in attendance at the organizational session.

The other six state representatives, all Republicans, were not present Tuesday, and it was not known if they had contracted COVID-19. Those six absent members could be gone for other reasons. The seven members in all are:

  • David Borrero (R, parts of Broward, Collier, Miami-Dade),
  • Adam Botana (R, part of Lee),
  • Demi Busatta Cabrera (R, part of Miami-Dade),
  • Mike Giallombardo (R, part of Lee),
  • Michelle Salzman (R, part of Escambia),
  • Geraldine Thompson (D, part of Orange),
  • Jackie Toledo (R, part of Hillsborough)

At least five other lawmakers have previously been tested positive for COVID-19 since July.