Play Live Radio
Next Up:
Available On Air Stations

Downtown library will reopen Dec. 13, mayor says

Claire Heddles
Jacksonville's downtown library has been closed since August as a site for Regeneron treatments.

Jacksonville will reopen its main library Dec. 13 , almost four months after the library was shut down to use as a monoclonal antibody treatment site.

The treatment site at the library will run through Dec. 9, and the city will conduct a deep cleaning of the building Dec. 10.

Mayor Lenny Curry announced Tuesday on Twitter that the library will reopen due to the "dramatic reduction in COVID-19 cases." The site has distributed 11,352 Regeneron doses since it opened in mid-August.

The monoclonal antibody clinic will moved to the Joseph Lee Center at 5120 Perry St. and will be open for patients starting Dec. 10. The hours of operation will be the same as the current clinic at the library, 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. every day.

Before Tuesday's announcement, the city had not provided any plan about when the library would reopen or details about how low cases had to go to reopen it. Average daily doses distributed at the site had fallen to less than 50 earlier this month.

Julia Gordie, the head of social services at the Salvation Army in Jacksonville, told WJCT in September that she saw a link between the library’s closure and a spike in the number of homeless people on the streets.

“We have seen more of an influx of people off the streets looking for shelter, food and water than normal and believe the library being closed has contributed to this some,” Gordie said. “Unfortunately, we do not have the computer capacity to help them.”

There were fewer than 300 COVID cases countywide last week, according to the latest data from the Florida Department of Health.

Claire joined WJCT as a reporter in August 2021. She was previously the local host of NPR's Morning Edition at WUOT in Knoxville, Tennessee. During her time in East Tennessee, her coverage of the COVID pandemic earned a Public Media Journalists’ Association award for investigative reporting. You can reach Claire at (904) 250-0926 or on Twitter @ClaireHeddles.
Reporter Raymon Troncoso joined WJCT News in June of 2021 after concluding his fellowship with Report For America, where he was embedded with Capitol News Illinois covering Illinois state government with a focus on policy and equity. You can reach him at (904) 358-6319 or and follow him on Twitter @RayTroncoso.