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Oldsmar City Council member Andrew Knapp recently revealed he tested positive for COVID-19 in late November. Knapp, who was elected to Seat 3 in March, said he and his wife, Nicole, and baby daughter, Leona Jean, who also tested positive, are now on the road to recovery following a two-week bout with the coronavirus. He said his most recent test Dec. 2 came back negative.

OLDSMAR — Oldsmar City Council member Andrew Knapp recently announced that he tested positive for COVID-19 last month.

During the City Council meeting Dec. 1, Knapp called in to explain how he started experiencing coronavirus symptoms days after the Nov. 17 council meeting and a subsequent positive test led to a two-week quarantine period for him and his family.

“Many people may have already known that I did test positive for COVID,” Knapp said by phone at the start of the meeting. “We’re all doing better here in the Knapp household. Last week was a pretty rough week — Thanksgiving wasn’t the best — but we are feeling better and my plan is to try to get a test tomorrow and hopefully it will wind up negative.”

Knapp, who was elected to Seat 3 in March following his second council campaign in a year, asked for patience should he start coughing during the call before, adding he was “thankful he did not spread it amongst any other council members or anyone else in attendance at the last meeting because I started feeling bad later that week.”

Noting “we’ve all run into this, becoming exposed to someone,” Mayor Eric Seidel said he appreciated that Knapp immediately communicated his situation to everyone and stayed away from City Hall because it “really prevented any kind of major breakout over here for us.”

Shortly after receiving a negative result on a rapid test the following day, Knapp spoke about receiving the positive COVID diagnosis and the toll it took on his family.

“I started having symptoms on the 19th, so I went the next day and got tested and I got the results a couple of days later,” Knapp said Dec. 2. “I had already been self-quarantining for a few days in anticipation of a positive result, but by that time I had already been around my wife and baby daughter and then we found out they had it, too.”

Knapp, whose wife, Nicole, gave birth to Leona Jean right before his election win in March, noted all three family members experienced different symptoms, from his cough, intermittent fever and severe head and body aches to his wife’s loss of taste and smell.

“I had somewhat moderate, not mild symptoms, but I felt pretty much useless for a full week,” he said, noting Nicole “didn’t have much of the same symptoms” as he did. He said baby ‘LJ’ experienced mild symptoms and recovered quickly, and he’s thankful they are all now on the road to recovery. “I wouldn’t wish upon anyone what I’ve had to deal with,” Knapp said.

And while he’s always been a vocal advocate of wearing masks and practicing social distancing, Knapp cautioned how even a quick lapse in judgment can prove to be costly.

“Even though I was always trying to do my best to take precautions it shows no one can be perfect,” he said, noting he’s not sure where he contracted the virus from, but he had been on a family trip days prior.

“I’m still highly in favor of people taking all the precautions they can to help minimize the spread because obviously it can spread unbeknownst to people.”

Asked if he had learned anything from his family’s COVID ordeal, Knapp replied, “what I learned is to take precautions and minimize the time you interact with people from outside your household. Masks might not be 100% perfect but being in an enclosed space with other people increases your chances of catching it. I want people to know it can happen to anyone. Knowledge is power when it comes to this.”