News 3-17-2020

At last night’s Clewiston City Commission Meeting, the board discussed upcoming changes related to the Coronavirus outbreak. Shortages of cleaning products have been brought to the commission’s attention, and though this is a legitimate concern and essential to preventing the spread of germs, City Manager Randy Martin is focused on other life-saving products such as food and medication, which as of now, are all sufficiently stocked. Speaking of food, Hendry County School Board Chair Stephanie Busin announced via Facebook that the food service team is developing and finalizing a student feeding plan that would start March 23rd. There will be a schedule as well as locations scheduled for Clewiston and LaBelle.

Saturday was the last day to early vote, and today is election day for the presidential primary. Polls will be opened in Hendry County until 7p. Sanitizing stations have been set up at the sites to minimize the spread of germs related to COVID-19. The Big Cypress site is closed and has been moved to the John Boy Auditorium in Clewiston. You must have photo ID.

Just after 5:00 yesterday, Hendry County Sheriff’s Office Deputies were on scene of a road block affecting the westbound lane of traffic onto State Road 80.  A tractor trailer was on the US 27 exit ramp turning onto westbound State Road 80.  The semi-tractor’s trailer tipped over, preventing the flow of traffic. There were no reported injuries.

Governor Ron DeSantis activated the Florida Small Business Emergency Bridge Loan Program to support small businesses impacted by COVID-19. The bridge loan program, managed by the Florida Department of Economic Opportunity (DEO), will provide short-term, interest-free loans to small businesses that experienced economic injury from COVID-19. The application period opens today and runs through May 8.

Based on the most recent guidance from the State of Florida regarding public gatherings, Hendry County is canceling the April 4, Montura Study Meeting at the Montura Clubhouse and the code enforcement Special Magistrate hearings originally scheduled for March 19, 2020 and April 16, 2020. Officials anticipate the April 29th meeting for the Montura Study will be held as scheduled at the Montura Clubhouse at 10am.

Hendry, Glades and Okeechobee Counties are all closely monitoring the impacts of COVID-19 as the situation quickly evolves. Although there are no confirmed cases in either of these counties, officials are actively reviewing various scenarios and how it might affect the public, employees and operations.  The Public Safety Departments are in daily contact with the State Florida Department of Health and the Division of Emergency Management. Our counties have not declared a State of Local Emergency.

The key to avoiding the Coronavirus is good personal hygiene. Washing your hands for at least 20 seconds with soap and water or using a hand sanitizer with at least 60 percent alcohol in it. Practice social distancing by keeping at least 3 feet away from someone when greeting them and avoid shaking hands. Avoid shopping at peak hours and take advantage of delivery services. Do your best to avoid places where there are 10 people or more. And, as Clewiston City Commissioner Julio Rodriguez said at last night’s meeting, don’t panic. If you need further information about the virus and recommendations for preventing it, please log on to the Department of Health at floridahealth.gov or the Center for Disease Control at cdc.gov.