Only one FL county left with zero coronavirus infections. Its name is Liberty

Image shows SARS-CoV-2 (in yellow), also known as 2019-nCoV, the coronavirus that causes COVID-19. Credit: National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, Rocky Mountain Laboratories, an agency of the National Institutes of Health

As of Thursday evening, the Florida Department of Health department reported nearly 17,000 COVID-19 infections in 66 of the 67 counties.

Only one county has zero infections: Liberty, in North Florida.

It’s west of Tallahassee, bordered by Franklin, Wakulla, Leon, Gadsden, Calhoun, Gulf and Jackson.

A Jefferson County, FL restaurant in Monticello posts a COVID-19 update. Credit: Peter T. Reinwald.

The Florida Phoenix has been analyzing the health department’s data on coronavirus-free counties and other measures, and wrote on March 27 about 20 counties that still had zero infections.

All of those counties had to abide by state directives, such as a statewide lockdown order, even though they had no confirmed or reported infections.

Most were in a swath of northern Florida and a few were in the south-central part of the state. The 20 counties were pristine, medically speaking, when it came to the coronavirus.

But since March 27, those small counties began falling off the coronavirus-free list, according to the state data, and Liberty is now the only county left with no infections.

The state Department of Health does twice-daily data reports on infections and deaths, and Liberty could be the 67th state to have at least one COVID-19 infection. The next report will be on Friday morning.

As of Thursday evening, there are 16,826 infections across Florida. Those numbers are expected to rise. The state also reported 371 deaths.

As to the big counties, Miami-Dade has nearly, 6,000 infections; Broward about 2,500 and Palm Beach, about 1,300.

Those three counties have been the center of the coronavirus pandemic in Florida.

Diane Rado
Diane Rado has covered state and local government and public schools in six states over some 30 years, focusing on policy and investigative stories as well as legislative and political reporting. She spent most of her career at the St. Petersburg (Tampa Bay) Times and the Chicago Tribune. She has a master’s degree in journalism from Northwestern University and did a fellowship in education reform at the University of Michigan in 1999-2000. She is married to a journalist and has three adult children.