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Since Florida State University students returned to Tallahassee, both Tallahassee and the surrounding areas in Leon County have seen a stark rise in the number of active COVID-19 cases. As a result of this, Leon county is now marked as a hotspot of the novel Coronavirus on the New York Times map.

Currently, there are a total of 8,272 cases in the above-mentioned area. This number includes cases of patients that may have already recovered or who have passed away. Leon county has had 1,398 new cases and is averaging roughly 200 new cases every day. These numbers do not include any persons who have COVID-19 but are unaware of their illness.

The return of FSU students to campus has proven to be a large factor in the recent spike in Leon County cases. According to the Florida Department of Health COVID-19 dashboard, the 15 to 24-year-old age range currently makes up 43.85 percent of all COVID-19 cases in Leon County. The majority of positive Leon County cases have been women, with 4,462 of the 8,272 cases reported being female patients. The spike in cases is noticeable on graphs beginning on Aug. 31.

The zip code Collegetown is located in, 32304, currently has the most cases of any Leon County zip code, with 2,256 total cases. Much of Florida State University is located in the 32306 zip code, which currently has 291 total cases reported.

Leon County has had 44 deaths total resulting from COVID-19 with six being within a week from last Friday. The ages of the people whose deaths were recorded most recently were 97, 92, 80, 92, 95 and 87. All of the above statistics can be found either through the New York Times COVID-19 Map or through the FL Health Department’s website dedicated to their COVID-19 Response.

According to the CDC, older adults are more likely to have complications if they contract the COVID-19. Younger people still can pass away from COVID-19, but the danger in a younger person catching the virus lies mainly in the risk of a young person who is asymptomatic passing the disease on to someone who has pre-existing health conditions and could find the virus to be fatal. In order to ensure that the Leon County community that surrounds the university is protected, it is important that FSU students social distance and wear a mask if they need to leave their place of residence, as recommended by the CDC and FSU.

[bf_image id="q82lpu-ehbq48-6xdf53"] Here are some CDC guidelines to follow to keep yourself and those around you safe:

  • Social Distance: stay at least six feet apart from others to reduce the risk of transmission.
  • Choose safe social activities: instead of going to your favorite sit-down bar to chat with friends, have a picnic on Landis Green or take a walk!
  • Wear a mask: masks are a barrier that blocks respiratory droplets from traveling into the air and reaching others.
  • Limit contact with those outside your household. Instead of only seeing one friend a day, and another the next, see if you can create a quarantine bubble (a group of people who agree to only hang out with one another) so you can still socialize but with a lower risk.

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Emma Cryer is a current Florida State University senior majoring in Communications/Media Studies and minors in English and film! In her free time, you can find her in the gym, reading, or laughing with friends.
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