Corona Virus Update from the Madison County Sheriffs Department
March 24, 2020
To the Citizens of Madison County:
As we navigate the uncertainties of the Corona Virus response in our community I want to assure everyone that there are many things that you can count on in Madison County. One of these is the fact that the Madison County Sheriff’s Office is ALIVE AND WELL and will continue to be very diligent in our response to public safety concerns. Our Deputies have been equipped with personal protection devices and will be responding as needed to any calls for service in our county. I have put in place guidelines for our Deputies which are mandated by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention as to personal contact. This simply means that they will keep an appropriate distance from you if possible and wear protective gear if necessary. However, please understand that if you decide to break the law then you can still be incarcerated in our jail. We have prepared our jail with several isolation cells for this purpose.
Secondly, there are recommended guidelines from the Florida Department of Health that we have put in place at the Madison County Sheriff’s Office Communications Center. If you request a Deputy, Police Officer, Fire Rescue, Fire Department, or any Emergency Medical Service response you may be asked additional questions to help the first responders prepare appropriately to address your need. Please be patient with the Communication Officers during this time and understand that this is temporary but necessary.
Third, Governor DeSantis has issued executive orders which mandate the temporary closing of inside seating for restaurants in the State of Florida. However, there are several restaurants in our county that still have drive-through and take out options. Our grocery stores, supermarkets, and gas stations are open for business and will continue to be. The Madison County School Board has started distributing lunches for students daily at many locations in the county. You can contact them for times and locations. In regard to reported road closures at our state line I can assure you that there are no road closures nor are there any anticipated because of the Corona Virus. We are communicating daily with our Emergency Operations Center, local, state, and federal law enforcement, the Governor’s Office, as well as Attorney General Ashley Moody’s Office and United States Attorney for the Northern District Larry Keefe’s Office to stay abreast of any updates as we move through this response.
Additionally, because of the unusual circumstances that this virus has caused our communities I am asking all of our citizens to be extra careful. Unfortunately in times like these many criminals will try to take advantage of innocent people with fraud schemes. We have been advised that some citizens in surrounding counties have been contacted at their homes by people posing as representatives of the Department of Health or agents from the CDC requesting personal information in regard to the Corona Virus. There have also been people selling preventatives and cures for the virus as well. Please be advised that these are all fraud schemes. If you are contacted by anyone requesting your personal information in regard to the Corona Virus please contact the Sheriff’s Office or Police Department and report the incident. The Attorney General’s Office and the United States Attorney’s Office have advised that they will prosecute anyone “vigorously” who attempt to defraud the public during these times.
Finally, during these times we will have to adapt and improvise to overcome the circumstances this virus has caused our community. Please follow the instructions from our health officials as to social distancing and hygiene, but most of all use common sense and do not over react. I would also ask that you do not repeat information that may be false unless you have verified its validity. Feel free to contact the Sheriff’s Office, Police Department, Emergency Management, or the Department of Health if you have any questions regarding this response.
Sheriff of Madison County