What does Leon County's reinstated curfew mean for you?

Posted at 6:37 PM, Apr 15, 2020
and last updated 2020-04-16 01:32:51-04

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (WTXL) — In Leon County, a curfew reenacted by the county commission goes into effect on Wednesday.

From 11 p.m. to 5 a.m. everyone within county limits must be off the streets and at home.

This curfew is the same as the one put in place by the county last month. Weeks later, they lifted it after Governor Ron DeSantis declared a safer-at-home order.

One Leon County resident says the state should be clear on what local governments can do within his order.

"I appreciate Leon County stepping up and taking charge on this," said Zachary Goodson, Leon County resident. That's what federalism is about after all but it would be great to see more, stricter action from state government, in my opinion."

Goodson says he doesn't mind the curfew at all and will do anything to stop the spread.

"We wonder about enforcement," said Goodson. "How is it going to be enforced, how effectively is it going to be enforced?"

One answer to those questions is evident at Orange-Meridian Park.

The benches at the county park have been removed to prevent crowds of 10 or more from gathering before or after curfew.

County commissioners say they don't want people to think we are in the clear from COVID-19. Commissioner Mary Ann Lindley says the stay at home order can be vague and this action lets people know what is expected of them.

"There's so many exceptions to it," said Lindley. "So this way, we felt like a curfew is something that is very clear. And it would add extra emphasis to this so people would know, no, we're not out of the woods."

Some commissioners were concerned about the strain it could have on law enforcement, but Lindley said they all agreed it's necessary if we want to continue to flatten the curve.

With the expected peak of the virus in the Tallahassee-Leon area being around May or June they feel keeping everyone home, other than those who are essential, will make a difference.

Earlier this month, TPD broke up 72 gatherings with 10 or more people.

Law enforcement does have the right to give citations, notices to appear, and to arrest people, if needed, if they are in violation of the order.

Johns Hopkins Center for Systems Science and Engineering