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Tallahassee Police stress voluntary social distancing, including during drive-by parades

Bainbridge cancels drive-by parades
Posted at 6:40 PM, Apr 16, 2020
and last updated 2020-04-16 20:35:55-04

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (WTXL) — While some local municipalities in the Big Bend are cracking down on outdoor parades, some of Tallahassee's most vulnerable neighbors were able to connect with loved ones Thursday from a distance.

Staff at Your Life Memory Care, an assisted living facility in Tallahassee, lined up residents six feet apart. Family members greeted them while passing by in decorated cars.

Some would say drive-by parades walk a thin line when it comes to CDC guidelines.

To keep from drawing more of a crowd than expected, the Bainbridge Police Department canceled a similar practice they had in place to celebrate children's birthdays.

"I'm thinking the best way to eliminate that and try to enforce social distancing is just to cancel it for right now, and just wait till we get through this coronavirus, and then we'll do something different," said Jerry Carter, Bainbridge Public Safety Director.

While the Tallahassee Police Department has not intervened with similar events, they persist in their plea for voluntary compliance.

"What the Tallahassee Police Department wants to remind everybody about is to be responsible friends and loves ones," said Kevin Bradshaw, the public information officer for the Tallahassee Police Department. "Be responsible in that, by failing to maintain the social distance we can make our friends and loved ones sick, and that's clearly not anyone trying to do it on purpose, but it does happen. And that's why these guidelines are in place, its to protect everybody."

Family and friends who were able to see a glimpse their loved ones say, in the moment, they appreciate the practice.

"It's just a blessing to be able to be in this participation," said Richard Clark, who's mother is a resident at Your Life Memory Care.

The facility does plan other creative events to keep families connected and tell us social distancing is practiced inside. All employees wear masks when in contact with residents and they say ongoing cleaning continues to keep people living and working at the facility healthy.