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Leon Officials Stress Calm, Preparedness Amid Coronavirus Fears

Leon County officials say they’re ready in case the coronavirus becomes a problem in the area. The latest likely case of COVID-19 is an elderly man in Santa Rosa County, in the panhandle. The reassurances come as Governor Ron DeSantis says the state is trying to increase its ability to test for the virus.

There are in facilities Tampa, Miami and Jacksonville where testing is available. DeSantis says he has been in communication with Vice President Mike Pence about obtaining more tests.

I know they have tens of thousands [of tests] that will eventually be in route,” he said. “We don’t have them yet, but we would like to get them obviously as soon as possible.”

Tallahassee Memorial Hospital Chief Medical Officer, Dr. Andrea Friall says while TMH cannot process coronavirus tests at their facility, TMH is able to collect samples and have the kits sent off. TMH is able to treat COVID - 19 and Friall suggests people check the Leon County Health department for updates.

“Information is evolving daily, but avoid going out if you are ill. If you feel that you are very ill, contact your local health department and they will guide you on the next steps,” she said.

More concerns about travel are arising as students prepare Spring Break. Tallahassee Community College is monitoring the virus closely. Florida A&M University is telling its faculty students and staff to stay home if they are feeling sick and Florida State University wants people returning from high-risk areas to self-quarantine. FSU director of Emergency Management, Curtis Sommerhoff, says FSU is currently creating a plan for students who reside in on-campus dorms, who may need to be isolated.

“The university would identify an alternate location and of course we are working with our local health department to do those kinds of things,” Sommerhoff said.

Audriana Thomas is a senior broadcast journalism student minoring in international relations. She currently serves as a staff writer for the FAMUAN newspaper and anchor for FAMU’s News 20. Audriana enjoys telling meaningful stories and strives to educate others through her writing. When she is not writing, you can find her perusing her love of photography or working out at the gym.