Former Broward County Sheriff Scott Israel has been hospitalized with COVID-19.
Israel, a Democrat, was removed from office by Gov. Ron DeSantis in January 2019. He is campaigning to regain that office in November.
“Last night I tested positive for COVID-19,” Israel said in a statement his campaign provided to the South Florida Sun-Sentinel. “I am in a local area hospital for further evaluation.”
Some community leaders objected to Israel’s ousting and vowed to support him in the fall. DeSantis faulted Israel’s leadership leading up to the 2017 school shooting in Parkland that left 17 people dead. He unsuccessfully sued for reinstatement in November.
According to the statement from Israel’s campaign, the 63-year-old lawman had experienced coronavirus symptoms over the past several days and was urged by friends and family to see a physician, even though he’d previously been tested.
“This time, unfortunately, the test was positive,” he said. “Like most of you, I took precautions, followed the advice of health experts, wore a mask in public, washed my hands regularly and observed social distancing. Yet, despite this vigilance, I have contracted the virus. My outlook is positive, my faith is strong, and I rest in the strong support of loving family, friends and colleagues. While I am quarantined our campaign will continue, in earnest. Please protect one another, love one another, stay vigilant and fight, fight, fight for the health and safety of our community.”