Stay-at-home order, curfew to be enacted in Leon County to stop spread of COVID-19

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By: WCTV Eyewitness News
March 24, 2020

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (WCTV) -- Leon County and the City of Tallahassee have declared that beginning March 25 at 11 p.m., a stay-at-home order and curfew will be put in place to limit the spread of the COVID-19 coronavirus.

The curfew will be in place from 11 p.m. to 5 a.m.

You can watch the joint press conference between the county and city below.

Leon County Commissioner Bryan Desloge announced the order Tuesday afternoon.

"The decisions we make may disrupt lives, but they may also save lives," said Desloge. He added that the measures are in direct-response to protecting the vulnerable population in the area.

The county and city are not requiring any business offices to close.

A stay-at-home order is different from a shelter-at-home order; Leon County and Tallahassee officials are asking residents not to leave home if it is not necessary.

Essential activities could include grocery shopping, going to work or outdoor recreation.

"A lot of communities around the country are doing different things," Desloge said. "The shelter-at-home was an alternative we looked at, but then you get into the slippery slope of what's considered 'essential,' and 'non-essential.' There are some counties around the state of Florida that have tried that with some pretty bad results."

Law enforcement now have the authority to disperse a crowd of 10 or more people. The orders also establish a curfew, giving police the power to stop anyone who's out between 11 p.m. and 5 a.m.

However, you are allowed to be out for an essential reason during that time; including going to or coming from work.

The full county order has been attached to this article as a PDF. It can be seen at the top of this story for desktop users or at the bottom of the page for mobile viewers.

For more information on COVID-19 in the county, call the health department's hotline at 850-404-6300.

This is a developing story and will be updated.

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