WFSU News · Tallahassee · Panama City · Thomasville
Play Live Radio
Next Up:
Available On Air Stations

Leon Resident Tests Positive For Coronavirus After County Declares State Of Emergency

a teal medical mask has been discarded on the road
Cladio Schwarz, unsplash

Leon County has declared a state of Emergency. The move came just hours before health officials released information showing a Leon County resident has tested positive for the coronavirus. The resident was diagnosed outside the state and is not being treated in Florida.

The case involves a 59-year-old woman and is thought to be travel related since she recently visited Japan. Data from the state also shows a 54-year-old Gadsden County man was diagnosed with the coronavirus after traveling in Japan. He is also being treated outside the state.

Leon County officials say the decision to move forward with an emergency declaration was not “trigged by any specific development.” Officials say when they issued the declaration, there were no known cases of coronavirus in the county. A statement says officials made the choice out of an “abundance of caution to ensure the community’s strongest public health response.”

Officials say the declaration will help them be more agile as they respond to the increasing spread of the coronavirus in the state of Florida.

In the statement, County Commission Chairman Bryan Desloge says, “Life after the state of emergency declaration is not different than before. 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.”

Declaring a state of emergency means the Leon County government can apply for federal reimbursement for money it spends on response efforts. The declaration also helps the county streamline its partnerships with other agencies working to address the spread of COVID-19. But that’s not all an emergency declaration can do. It also gives the county the ability to limit alcohol sales, impose curfews and declare certain areas off limits.


Follow @Regan_McCarthy

Regan McCarthy is the Assistant News Director for WFSU Public Media. Before coming to Tallahassee, Regan graduated with honors from Indiana University’s Ernie Pyle School of Journalism. She worked for several years for NPR member station WFIU in Bloomington, Ind., where she covered local and state government and produced feature and community stories.

Phone: (850) 645-6090 |

Find complete bio, contact info, and more stories here.