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Franklin County Sheriff: You must obey 14-day quarantine if you travel into county from COVID-19 impacted area

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Posted at 6:54 PM, Apr 06, 2020
and last updated 2020-04-06 19:05:13-04

FRANKLIN COUNTY, Fla. (WTXL) — The sheriff of Franklin County took to Facebook to remind visitors that they must undergo a 14-day quarantine if they travel into the county from Georgia or one of the other highly COVID-19 effected areas.

"Keep in mind, that means staying home and not going out anywhere," Sheriff A.J. Smith said in a Facebook video posted on Monday.

If you don't abide by the mandatory quarantine, Sheriff Smith says you will be subject to arrest.

"We have deputies out right now following up on people who have come into town and are not quarantining," Sheriff Smith explained. "So please, if you must come here, which we're asking you not to until this epidemic is over with, 14-day quarantine."

Last month, Gov. DeSantis signed an executive order requiring people from COVID-19 hotspots like New York, Louisiana, New Jersey, Connecticut and others to undergo a mandatory 14-day quarantine upon entering Florida.

Over the weekend, the sheriff made a plea asking people to stay home and practice social distancing.

"If we catch someone who has violated the county ordinance or the executive order by the governor, they are going to be arrested. Trust me. We're looking for them," Sheriff Smith said in the Sunday video. "I've committed several deputies and all they're doing is running down these leads and making sure people are doing what they're supposed to do so we can keep our county safe."

In the video, he said that the dispatchers were being "overrun" with calls about out-of-state visitors. Sheriff Smith said deputies would also be out looking for anyone who's outside unnecessarily.

"We're going to be looking for people who are out and don't have to be. We're going to send you home," said Sheriff Smith. "That's the bottom line, we're gonna send you home because we're going to keep our county safe."

Instead of having to take anyone away in handcuffs, Sheriff Smith is asking for full cooperation from everyone in the county.

Franklin County made headlines last week after the sheriff's office shared news that a Georgia Senator who tested positive for COVID-19 traveled to his vacation home on St. George Island.