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Gadsden County commission holds emergency meeting after spike in crime, COVID-19 cases

Posted at 11:08 PM, Nov 19, 2020
and last updated 2020-11-19 23:08:52-05

GADSDEN COUNTY, Fla. (WTXL) — The recent and continuing increase in the number of positive COVID-19 cases has Gadsden County leaders thinking twice about re-instating a curfew.

The County Commission took up the issue at an emergency meeting on Thursday night.

Gadsden County leaders voted to lift curfew a couple of months ago, but commissioners are weighing bringing it back.

"I know it's a spike, and it's climbing all over the place now and throughout the world," said Eric Hinson, a Gadsden County commissioner.

The upward trend of COVID-19 cases in Gadsden moved Hinson to ask a pressing question.

"Do you all think there's a need for a curfew or what," Hinson asked.

Gadsden saw 24 cases on Wednesday, the highest they've seen in almost a month.

The county is still under a mask mandate with no fines, thanks to Governor DeSantis' order.

Crowd capacity is still at a max of 50 people.

Now, crime could be a driving force behind a curfew.

"With the shootings," said Brenda Holt, a COunty commissioner. "We're having a problem with conduct."

"The police department says there's no need for a curfew; that's why it was lifted," commissioner Anthony Viegbese said. "So there is no need for a curfew."

That being said, the commission voted to continue without a curfew, hoping people in the county will do what's right.

The commission voted four to one against the curfew.

If infection numbers continue to rise, the county can take extra measures to reduce the spread.

Gadsden County is still under a State of Emergency.