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Leon County Commissioner requests special meeting to look at COVID-19 impacts

Posted at 7:14 PM, Aug 29, 2021
and last updated 2021-08-30 14:47:29-04

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (WTXL) — In a letter to commission chair Rick Minor, Commissioner Dozier cites a high number of COVID-19 cases across the County and State as a reason for requesting that a special meeting be held ahead of the commission's already scheduled meeting on September 14.

During that meeting, commissioner Dozier wants an update on the employee vaccinations in the county. The number of people overall vaccinated in the county. Along with an update on COVID-19 cases in Tallahassee hospitals.

"We need to hear from our public health and health care professionals in town," said Dozier. "The experts that have been guiding us these past 18 months."

As for bringing back the county's mask mandate, Dozier says that is something they could consider if information supports that it could help with reducing the spread. Before a mask mandate could be put in place, Dozier says the commission would have to hold a public hearing first.​

As of Aug. 27, there were 119 COVID-19 patients at Capital Regional Medical Center, with 127 patients at Tallahassee memorial healthcare.

To highlight just how dire the situation is, TMH is turning to social media... with front-line workers sharing their stories in 'Covid Diaries.

Megan Dunaway is a registered nurse who shared this message asking for grace for herself and other healthcare workers. Part of the post reads:

"I am caring for these patients for hours/days in our ER, in addition to emergencies walking in. I get to know them in their darkest hour, their families, then finally, I get a bed for them at the hospital, I hug them goodbye. I have had to stop checking up on them the next day because my heart cannot handle hearing one more time, that none of them made it. This is my reality. Which means this is YOUR reality."

TMH is also highlighting people they call healthcare heroes like Lauren Faison-Clark, who is a health administrator for the hospital. Part of her job includes digitally connecting patients with their family members outside the hospital. She writes:

"For the past few weeks, I have had the honor of sharing very intimate moments with families as they virtually connect to their loved ones affected by this unrelenting virus. I have listened as spouses, children and loved ones prayed with, sung to and cried for those they cherish so much."

Stories like these highlighting the need to do more before things get much worse.

"We all have personal examples of how COVID is impacting our lives now more than ever. I think it is time to get into a room together and hear from the experts to see how we can help mitigate the spread of Delta going into the fall," said Dozier.

ABC 27 reached out to Rick Minor's office about the request. He was unavailable to meet Sunday afternoon but will speak about the likelihood of granting this request ahead of their regular September meeting on Monday morning.

Johns Hopkins Center for Systems Science and Engineering