State Rep. Chris Latvala has been hospitalized for a second time due to COVID-19.
“I am back in the hands of medical professionals at Largo Medical (Center),” Latvala wrote Friday evening on his Facebook page. “This is the hardest thing I have ever faced in my life.”
In a text message Saturday afternoon, Latvala, a Clearwater Republican who represents Florida’s 67th House District, confirmed he was still hospitalized, but did not provide more details about his symptoms.
Latvala announced nearly a week ago that he had tested positive for the coronavirus.
He had a short stay at Largo Medical Center after his positive test, according to his Facebook posts. On Tuesday, he wrote that he expected to be discharged that day and would finish his recovery at home.
But on Friday evening, Latvala posted that he was back in the hospital. He wrote that he was putting his hands in “the Great Physician above” and in the medical experts handling his care.
“Millions of people around the world ... have worst cases than I,” he wrote. “Countless doctors and nurses died giving care to their patients. By any and all those measures I am an extremely blessed man.”
Latvala previously told the Tampa Bay Times that he was likely exposed to the coronavirus on Aug. 23, when he had close contact with someone who later tested positive for the virus. A day before, he’d held a campaign event. A few days after, he had toured a child welfare facility run by Lutheran Services Florida.
Latvala previously said he had followed guidelines from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention at those events, and had notified anyone who potentially was exposed.
He is campaigning for reelection against Democrat Dawn Douglas in the Nov. 3 general election.
More than 3,000 people across Florida are in the hospital with a primary diagnosis of COVID-19, according to Saturday afternoon data from Florida’s Agency for Health Care Administration. More than 500 are in the greater Tampa Bay region.
The state has seen a positive trend in coronavirus-related hospitalizations in recent weeks. The number of current hospitalizations of people with a primary diagnosis of COVID-19 peaked in July and has fallen since then.
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