How COVID-19 is affecting the poorest ZIP code in Florida

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The number of coronavirus cases in Tallahassee has been fluctuating at high numbers since late June. However, the 32304 Zip code has been affected the most.

Zip code 32304 is known for being the poorest zone in Florida, so the fact that this ZIP code is being affected the most is no surprise.  More than one-third of all positive cases of COVID-19 in Leon County are listed as residents in this ZIP code.

There are multiple apartment complexes in this area that house students from Florida State, Florida A&M and Tallahassee Community College. Places such as Seminole Grand, West 10, The Preserve at St. Luis, and dozens more. There is also more than one trailer park in this area, which is home to many of the city’s immigrant residents.

Over the summer and into the fall school year with students coming back to Tallahassee, more cases of the coronavirus arrived with them. Recently, Tallahassee residents have been facing the consequences of people being defiant and not following the rules of coronavirus prevention. Instead of practicing social distancing and wearing facemasks, students have been gathering for things like pool parties, tailgates, and even the FSU football game, and face masks are absent.

According to David Coburn, FSU athletic director, FSU officials wee “disappointed with some fans, particularly some student fans, at the Georgia Tech football game who did not comply with our policies regarding social distancing and wearing masks while in their seats.”

There were 17,538 fans at the game and many could be seen on national television not wearing masks and they’ve been receiving backlash all over social media.

Since many students that were at the game live in those apartment complexes, ZIP code 32304 is being affected the most in Tallahassee.

“I think people are either too lazy to get tested, or are afraid to know their results, so that if they do have it (coronavirus), they don’t know and can still go out and be reckless without feeling guilty,” stated 32304 resident and FSU student Danae Washington.

University officials have put into place multiple protocols to ensure the spread of coronavirus is put to a minimum on campus. When students are not on campus however, they are completely free to do what they please with whomever they please, almost wherever they please.

This privilege has caused the coronavirus cases to continue spiking.  Over the Labor Day, weekend, apartment complex staff allowed there to be pool parties and were not held accountable for doing so. Michael Green, a TCC student said, “Yes, I think the pools should’ve been closed during Labor Day. It would’ve helped keep cases from spiking.”