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Leon County Commissioner Bryan Desloge is the new chair of the Florida Trust.

Tallahassee

With 13 coronavirus cases, Leon County is taking its own relief efforts

Leon County and Tallahassee have started a shelter-in-place order.

Leon County, now the site of thirteen coronavirus cases, and Tallahassee have taken their own steps to reduce the continued spread of the virus.

Overnight Wednesday and Thursday morning, Leon County began its stay-at-home order and nightly 11 p.m. to 5 a.m. curfew. The county joined a growing list of local jurisdictions taking various pseudo-lockdown measures to prevent the spread of the novel coronavirus.

“It is a deliberate and measured approach to protect our county’s vulnerable populations,” said Leon County Commission Chair Bryan Desloge during a Tuesday press conference. “It’s an effort that requires all of our community to come together to be united in a single purpose — stopping the spread of this virus.”

On Thursday, Tallahassee began a relief program that allows individuals, businesses and nonprofits to defer utility payments until the fall.

And Wednesday afternoon, a joint Tallahassee and county board approved a $1 million COVID-19 Economic Disaster Relief Grant Program for small businesses impacted by the outbreak. Businesses with 50 or fewer employees will receive up to $5,000 based on their number of employees. Tallahassee Mayor John Dailey had urged the Emergency Blueprint Intergovernmental Agency Board Meeting to meet.

“We know how this crisis has impacted every corner of this community and I am glad that we’re going to be able to have the conversation about what role we can play locally to address this crisis,” he said.

Tallahassee Mayor Pro Tem Dianne Williams-Cox and others, including Dailey, called on the Blueprint board to approve more COVID-19 relief funding when state and federal dollars come down.

“I don’t know how we came up with the magic number of $1 million, but it is simply not enough,” she said. “I understand that we don’t want to go into projects that we have already approved, but we have an emergency here. We have a fire. And we can’t set aside special water for certain fires.”

The move would supplement Small Business Emergency Bridge Loan disbursements by the state and small business programs approved in the federal government’s $2.2 trillion coronavirus economic package.

As of Thursday morning, Leon’s nine confirmed COVID-19 cases include two non-Florida residents and a resident tested and isolated outside of the state. Later Thursday, the state reported four more confirmed residents with the disease.

Two of the county’s cases have been hospitalized. The age range of those infected in the county span from 19 to 60.

All of the original nine confirmed cases are travel-related. Of the new cases, one was travel-related and one’s travel was unknown.

No resident has died of the disease in Leon County, but one South Georgia resident was transferred to Tallahassee before testing positive for the virus and passing away. The state does not include that woman in the state’s coronavirus fatalities.

At least 28 people have died in the state, according to a Thursday morning Department of Health COVID-19 report. State officials confirmed at least 2,355 infections, including 2,235 Florida residents.

Written By

Renzo Downey covers the Florida Legislature for Florida Politics. After graduating from Northwestern University in 2019, Renzo began his reporting career in the Lone Star State, covering state government for the Austin American-Statesman. Shoot Renzo an email at renzo@floridapolitics.com and follow him on Twitter @RenzoDowney.

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