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Sixth person who attended law enforcement conference tests positive for COVID-19

Posted at 2:17 PM, Aug 05, 2020
and last updated 2020-08-05 18:33:06-04

LEVY COUNTY, FL — Another sheriff who attended a law enforcement conference in Lee County, Florida last week has tested positive for COVID-19, bringing the total number of people infected to six.

Levy County Sheriff Bobby McCallum notified his staff Tuesday that he tested positive for the virus after coming into contact with another infected sheriff last week.

Florida’s sheriffs hold 3-day conference, 5 attendees test positive for COVID-19

McCallum was one of about 60 people who attended a three-day Florida Sheriffs Association conference at the Hyatt Coconut Point Resort in Bonita Springs, FL.

McCallum said in a press release issued by his office that his symptoms are mild and he’s able to work from home.

Five other people who attended the conference last week have tested positive so far, including Florida Department of Corrections Secretary Mark Inch, his Deputy Secretary Ricky Dixon, Volusia County Sheriff Mike Chitwood and Gilchrist County Sheriff Bobby Schultz.

Florida Governor Ron DeSantis and Attorney General Ashley Moody also attended the conference.

Spokespeople for both elected officials say they have tested negative for the virus since attending the event.

Days after the conference, President Donald Trump flew into Tampa and was surrounded by some of the sheriffs who attended the conference.

A spokesperson for the Florida Sheriffs Association declined an interview Tuesday, but issued this statement:

The Florida Sheriffs Association, and the hotel, took every precaution leading up to the business meeting, including reducing the number of participants by 75 percent, eliminating the trade show, requiring participants to wear masks in common areas of the hotel, individualizing food service, ensuring indoor air was filtered, cleaning surfaces throughout the day, etc. The meeting was in compliance with CDC, state, and county guidelines, as well as hotel policy relating to such events.

The day after our meeting (on Wednesday), one attendee contacted us to share they were COVID positive. FSA provided notice to all participants the same day, and that attendee also personally called anyone they interacted with at the meeting as an additional notification measure.

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