Friday, May 15, 2020 News

With the start of Hurricane Season just two weeks away, getting hurricane shelters prepared will be more of an issue in the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic. Hendry County Emergency Management Director Richard Lehmkul said COVID-19 concerns will definitely have an impact for hurricane shelter preparation. There’s not enough space to satisfy the state’s recommendations for social distancing, so the CDC, FEMA, the Red Cross and the Department of Health are looking at other ways to solve this problem such as co-sheltering with neighboring counties and segregating high risk population from others. He is expecting a plan for the hurricane shelters for the pandemic to be in place by the start of Hurricane Season on June 1st.

May 15, 2020 is Endangered Species Day. Unfortunately, an endangered Florida panther has died after being struck by a vehicle. The Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission says the remains of the 7-year-old male panther were found Monday in Hendry County on a rural road east of LaBelle. Wildlife officials say it’s the 12th panther death attributed to fatal collisions, out of 13 total deaths this year.

Florida’s COVID-19 Dashboard reports the latest number of reported positive cases of Coronavirus since testing began in Hendry County is 176. The number of recoveries from the virus is 28. As of May 14 at 10 AM, there have been 11 deaths in our county. That brings the number of active positive cases in Hendry, to 137. Total number in Glades County has increased to 9 as of yesterday. The Department of Health strongly urges residents to continue following the guidance provided by the CDC and DOH in order to slow the spread of COVID-19. Free testing is now being offered in Hendry, Glades and Palm Beach Counties. Lakeside Medical Center’s Walk-Up testing will temporarily close for today through the weekend, but us expected to resume normal hours on Monday.  Contact the hospital or health department nearest to you for details.


Clewiston Chamber of commerce held a virtual happy hour last night to bring the community together, apart. The meeting was held to update the public on the latest information vital to the citizens and business owners. Cynedra Blake, assistant Chamber Director for the City of Clewiston told WAFC that Keitha Daniels from Hendry County EDC shared some good news for business owners regarding small business loans. Randy Martin, Clewiston City Manager offered some words of comfort saying although Covid-19 numbers, specifically, continue to rise, our curve is behind other counties. He says we will get through this pandemic. Blake also said Electa Wadell PIO for Hendry Regional Medical Center is reminding us to celebrate our health care professionals with Chalk the Walk. Visit Hendry regional medical Center on Facebook for more details regarding National Hospital Week.