South Florida Chef Tests Positive for Coronavirus 40 Days After 1st Positive Test

A South Florida chef and restaurant owner said she feels great after battling COVID-19 but more than 40 days later, she still has the virus.

Josie Smith-Malave says she couldn't believe she re-tested positive for COVID-19, 42 days after her first test on March 27.

"My results came back on Sunday and I tested positive once again," Smith-Malave said. "Distressing to say the very least because I feel fine. I feel like I could go ride a bike to the beach."

Smith-Malave, who owns Bubbles + Pearls in Wilton Manors, said she had the whole gamut of symptoms, but two really stood out.

"I mean nothing, I could not smell anything and we did many tests because my nose is usually like a hound dog. I could not smell or taste anything," she said.

When her sense of taste and smell came back, Smith-Malave was ready to return to work and prepare to reopen her restaurant, but felt it was her responsibility to get tested again even though she was feeling better.

"I’ve already been set back enough, this is going to be difficult because I’m the leader, I’m the captain of the ship," she said. "For me to be away from my team is very challenging in this moment, needless to say yes, my business is now on pause.


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Smith-Malave, who also hosts an online talk show "It's Happening Out," said she lives with her wife and mother, who miraculously tested negative when she went for a second COVID-19 screening.

"It's mind boggling because it's not like I live in a mansion. I don't. There’s not a wing in the house for my mom, it's a room in the house," she said. "I’ve done the best I think I humanly can to keep it sanitary."

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