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Pinellas County Sheriff Bob Gualtieri tests positive for COVID-19

The Pinellas County Sheriff's Office says he is experiencing mild symptoms.

PINELLAS COUNTY, Fla. — Pinellas County Sheriff Bob Gualtieri has tested positive for the coronavirus, according to the sheriff's office. 

Gualtieri tested positive on late Friday afternoon, a news release states. The sheriff is said to be experiencing mild symptoms that began with a loss of taste and smell. 

The Pinellas County Sheriff's Office says he has no fever or respiratory issues.

Gualtieri is following directions given by the Department of Health and will remain home for 10 days but will still be in contact with staff. 

"He will continue to be in contact with Sheriff's Office command staff and will work remotely during the time he is out of the office," the sheriff's office wrote.

The Department of Health determined that it was not necessary for other sheriff's office personnel to quarantine as a result of the sheriff testing positive, according to a sheriff's office spokesperson. 

Gualtieri and other sheriff's office employees have "practiced appropriate social distancing" in all meetings, wearing masks or operating virtually, the sheriff's office explained.

The sheriff's office also says DOH contact tracers determined that "no additional measures are necessary based on the Sheriff's activities in the applicable period leading up to his positive test."

Gualtieri was confirmed to have attended the July Florida Sheriff's Association Summer Conference in Bonita Springs, but the sheriff's office does not know if he contracted COVID-19 during the event. 

The sheriff posted an update on Sunday in a Facebook video thanking everyone who has reached out to him to see how he is doing and show him support.

"Unfortunately on Friday afternoon, I tested positive for COVID, but so far so good," Gualtieri said. "My symptoms are very mild, nothing serious, no fever and no, you know, no respiratory issues.

He ended the video by telling everyone watching to stay safe, follow guidelines, stay socially distant and wear a mask.

Gualtieri's positive case is not the first the Pinellas County Sheriff's office has seen since the coronavirus pandemic began. Back in June, the department reported a coronavirus outbreak when 13 staff members and five inmates tested positive within the jail and Department of Detention and Corrections.

It's also not the first case among Florida sheriff's or law enforcement leaders. 

The Following leaders have also tested positive during the coronavirus pandemic: 

St. Lucie County Sheriff Ken Mascara

Osceola County Sheriff Russ Gibson -- confirmed by our affiliates WKMG-TV

Volusia County Sheriff Mike Chitwood 

Gilchrist County Sheriff Bobby Schultz -- confirmed by our affiliates CBS4

Florida Department of Corrections Secretary Mark Inch and Deputy Secretary Ricky Dixon

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