News 3-24-2020

Governor Ron DeSantis is directing all persons coming from an area outside the State of Florida with a substantial Coronavirus positive population, to include the New York Tri-State Area (Connecticut, New Jersey and New York), and visiting here through airports, to isolate or quarantine for a period of 14 days from the time of entry or for the duration of the person’s presence here, whichever is shorter.

Hendry Regional Medical Center announced new clinic hours and other updates for its facilities. For James D. Forbes Family Care Center (Clewiston) and Hendry Regional Convenient Care Center (LaBelle). The new hours are Monday – Friday from 8:00am – 5:00pm. Late and weekend hours are temporarily cancelled. All individuals are being assessed for respiratory symptoms prior to entering HRMC facilities. These assessments are being handled by a nurse and include questions about Covid19 symptoms, potential exposure and travel history. Also, in an abundance of caution and to control the potential spread of the virus, HRMC is no longer allowing visitors for patients, except in end of life or critically ill situations. 

The Glades Initiative is still open and continues to provide services to residents who need assistance with online applications in our office located at 141 SE Ave C, Belle Glade. They provide services in English, Spanish and Haitian Creole. The Food Bank and food services will also continue. Next food distribution for residents in need is scheduled for Wednesday, March 25 at 10 a.m. The organization released a statement saying they are taking safety measures and implementing social distancing and limiting the number of clients in the office at one time. Glades Initiative invites anyone to call the office if assistance is needed.

As of yesterday, United Way staff began working remotely and the LaBelle United Way House will be closed until April 13. All agencies working within the LaBelle United Way House are advised to cease any group or mass meetings as of the closure. Agencies may continue to utilize individual office space and see clients on an individual basis as they see fit, they will post notification on the front door as to how to contact them directly. Clients will need to contact agencies directly for services so that they can allow them into the building. The LaBelle United Way house is asking all involved to respect this decision as a safety measure for staff and the community. Hendry County residents are asked to dial 2-1-1 or 1-800-887-9234 for any assistance or needs that they may have regarding COVID-19. Current hours for the hotline are 8am – 6pm, Monday thru Friday. The United Way hotline does not replace the Florida Department of Health’s 24-hour hotline (866) 779-6121.

The Florida Department of Health updates Florida’s COVID-19 information page daily. Please visit  for the latest information.  This page remains the best and most up-to-date resource for information and guidance regarding COVID-19 in Florida. If you or someone you know is experiencing symptoms of COVID-19, please call your primary physician.  If you do not have a primary physician please call a local physician or your local Health Department. Please check our website or follow us on Facebook at for updates or additional information.

As of 6 p.m. on 3-23-2020, there are 1,227 total** Florida cases. That sounds like a lot until you realized that there are 11,637 negative cases. It should be noted that the data in released reports are changing by the hour. In this release from the Florida Department of Health, they had to make a correction to the number of COVID-19 related deaths from information previously released on the COVID-19 dashboard.

Three people have died who tested positive for COVID-19 in Clay, Duval and Palm Beach counties.

New Florida cases include:

  • 56 additional positive COVID-19 cases (51 Florida residents and 5 non-Florida residents) reported to the Florida Department of Health

For a broader perspective, and a case by county breakdown, visit the dashboard at