The Florida Department of Health’s COVID 19 Dashboard has updated to 1977 total Florida cases of Coronavirus. Out of now 23,723 total tests conducted, over 20,000 are negative. The death toll in our state has reached 23 and over 1600 people are currently being monitored. Still, as of the 6 pm update on 3-25-2020, there are no confirmed positive cases of Coronavirus in Hendry, Glades or Okeechobee Counties. Visit the COVID 19 dashboard for more information.

Okeechobee County Commissioners will have their regular meeting this morning and they will also have a briefing on the status of the Coronavirus in the county. As part of that briefing, commissioners will decide on a resolution to extend the local state of emergency which was enacted last week. As part of the regular agenda, commissioners will be looking to award a bid to an outside company for cleaning obstructions at the Okeechobee County Airport. The meeting will be held in the Historic County Courthouse beginning at nine o’clock and it’ll be streamed live on the commissioners’ website.

Please be advised that the meeting will have screening at the door and the County will be following the Department of Health and Governor’s protocol as it relates to social distancing and enforcing the limit on the number of people in the room.

USDA Rural Development is taking action to help rural residents, businesses and communities affected by the COVID-19 outbreak. Rural Development is providing a chance for immediate relief in the form of rural home loans, rural utilities service and rural business co-op service. Visit rd.usda.gov to learn more about these opportunities.

Although many offices in our communities are reducing hours or altogether closing, Hendry County Road & Bridge Department is taking care of the business of our roads. You may notice pavers on Carlyle Street today between 8 and 5. So don’t be surprised if you encounter lane closures. You may want allow extra time for your commute, just in case. Please use extra caution when driving through the work zone. Residents with questions or concerns can contact the Hendry County Engineering Department.

Sandra H. Brown, Glades County Clerk of Court wants residents of Glades County to know, all jury proceedings and non-essential court proceedings will remain suspended through Friday, April 17.

She says there is a drop box at the south entrance door to the Courthouse.   Put your name and number on your document in case they need to reach you.   A check or money order for the proper recording fee must be attached to your Recording Documents.   Cash cannot be accepted. All fines and payments can be made over the telephone by credit card or by check mailed to Clerk of Court, PO Box 10, Moore Haven.   You may also make payments by going to the Clerk’s website at www.gladesclerk.com. Anyone who has traffic tickets or other outstanding court-ordered financial obligations, who are facing a hardship, should contact the office or email traffic@gladesclerk.com. The Clerk’s Office staff is available from 8:00 AM to 5:00 PM to answer your questions or to assist you with any matters.  For any questions other than traffic, please email gladesclerk@gladesclerk.com.

Yesterday (Wednesday March 25) was the first day for Florida Community Health Center in Clewiston’s Drive Thru testing for COVID-19. Those with the associated risk factors and symptoms of COVID-19 are screened and evaluated by staff for testing. There is a difference between risk factors and symptoms. Coronavirus symptoms include: fever, cough, and shortness of breath. Risk factors consist of ONE or MORE of the following: Close contact with a laboratory-confirmed COVID-19 case, Travel to or from a Coronavirus affected area, Recent history of international travel or cruise, Age 65+ with chronic conditions, and Weakened immune system. WAFC had the opportunity to sit down with Dr. Alejandro Miquel, Chief Medical Officer at Florida Community Health Center in Clewiston. He says, the drive through testing is similar to your favorite drive thru burger joint, it just doesn’t taste as good. If anyone is experiencing the symptoms and has risk factors for COVID 19, they are encouraged to call one of the FCHC locations below to setup an appointment for screening, evaluation, and testing. This service is by appointment only. Telehealth appointments are also available. Drive thru locations include:

Fort Pierce

Clewiston and,

Indiantown Centers the  

The Okeechobee and the Port St Lucie Centers will begin on March 30 and 31st, respectively.

Saturday testing will be available at some sites.

Governor Desantis has issued an executive order directing state surgeon general dr Scott Rivkees to issue a public health advisory to all persons over 65 to stay home, to limit the risk of exposure to COVID 19. This order is effective immediately.