County Declares State of Emergency to Further Prepare and Respond to Coronavirus

Monday, March 16, 2020 | 

County Declares State of Emergency to Further Prepare and Respond to Coronavirus

As the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) spreads across the globe, and with the State of Florida's cases now exceeding 130, Leon County has declared a local state of emergency to further prepare and respond to the pandemic. With a state of emergency in place, the County will be able to quickly obtain critical supplies, expedite County emergency response efforts, enable the County to seek federal reimbursement, and further streamline agency coordination at the statewide level.

"Life after the state of emergency declaration is not different than before," said Leon County Commission Chairman Bryan Desloge. "We can still enjoy our community, but responsibly and with good hygiene in mind. However, the declaration does give our County the tools necessary to respond quickly and effectively to an unprecedented event like the COVID-19 global pandemic."

Locally, the state of emergency was not triggered by any specific development but was rather declared in an abundance of caution to ensure the community’s strongest public health response. The declaration builds on the County’s ongoing coordination with the Florida Department of Health, which began in January after the first identified case of COVID-19 in the United States.

"Through a state of emergency, if needed, our County can more easily request critical healthcare supplies, food supplies to feed our schoolchildren, and step up response efforts whenever and wherever needed," said Leon County Administrator Vincent S. Long. "Like during hurricanes, a declaration positions us to get support and provide aid that mitigates the spread of the coronavirus."

The County’s declaration aligns with similar declarations from the State of Florida and the federal government. At the time of this press release, Leon County has no confirmed cases of COVID-19.

Some of the best ways to limit transmission of the coronavirus remain washing your hands, covering your cough, and staying home if you feel sick.

For the most up-to-date information from the County's Emergency Operations Center, visit www.LeonCountyFL.gov/ei. The Emergency Information Portal is the community's best source of information for official emergency updates related to COVID-19.

In addition, the Florida Department of Health has activated a 24/7 COVID-19 call center at 866-779-6121. You can also visit www.FLHealth.gov/COVID-19.

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