TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (WTXL) — City of Tallahassee and Leon County officials have issued a shelter-in-place order and curfew for the entire county amid the coronavirus pandemic.
City and county officials made the announcement during a press conference Tuesday afternoon.
Starting on Wednesday at 11 p.m., the stay-at-home order will go into effect.
The order bans the gathering of 10 people or more and requires residents to remain at home whenever possible, except for when performing essential activities like going to work, going to the gas station, dropping your kids off to daycare, going to the grocery store, or "responsibly engaging in outdoor recreation."
The County has issued a stay-at-home order restricting gatherings and enacting an 11pm-5am curfew. Grocery shopping and gathering essential items, outdoor exercise and work are still permitted at this time. This is serious, folks! We need your help in stopping the spread.— Commissioner Jeremy Matlow (@Seat3TLH) March 24, 2020
The order also directs law enforcement to disperse any crowd of more than 10 people, which may include criminal charges or fines.
Along with the order, a night curfew will also go into effect. The curfew will start at 11 p.m. daily and go until 5 a.m. the next day.
Local businesses are not required to close due to the order but they are encouraged to conduct social distancing practices by limiting the amount of shoppers allowed in at one time, staggering hours or taking other approaches.
"You can still go to the park. You can still walk your dog. You can still go to work," Leon County Commission Chairman Brian Desloge said. "But large groups should not gather and families should only leave homes for the essentials."
Officials say the stay-in-place order is just one additional step to keep the coronavirus from spreading throughout the county.
While they acknowledge the decision is disruptive for many, they say they're focused on saving lives.
This is a breaking news story. We're currently working to update this story with additional details.
You can see the full press conference below: