Thursday June 4, 2020 News

As of 6 p.m. June 3, 2020, the number of Hendry County residents who have tested positive for COVID-19 in Hendry County since testing began is now 476. The deaths in the county are now at 17. Fifty-three people have been cleared and no longer have to be isolated.  These reports (along with additional information) can be accessed at the following links on the DOH website: Hendry County’s COVID-19 Dashboard can be found at the following link

Florida is ready to enter “Phase Two” of its reopening according to the governor.

  • Restaurants may allow bar-top seating with appropriate social distancing
  • Bars and pubs may operate at 50% capacity inside and full capacity outside with appropriate social distancing
  • Retail stores may operate at full capacity
  • Gyms and fitness centers may operate at full capacity
  • Entertainment venues like movie theaters, concert houses, auditoriums, playhouses, bowling alleys and arcades may operate at 50% capacity
  • Tattoo parlors, acupuncture establishments, tanning salons and massage establishments may operate while adhering to the Florida Department of Health
  • Pari-mutuel facilities which offer gambling may submit a request to open to the Department of Business and Professional Regulation

The guidelines will apply to 64 counties in Florida, excluding Miami-Dade, Broward and Palm Beach counties. Phase 2 will take effect tomorrow.

Hendry & Glades Counties– The Florida Department of Health in Hendry and Glades Counties will provide free COVID-19 Testing.

Glades County Health Department in Moore Haven: 1021 Health Park Drive

Monday, June 8th from 9:00 a.m. to Noon. (Weather permitting)

 Hendry County Health Department in Clewiston: 1100 S. Olympia

Wednesday June 10th from 9:00 a.m. to Noon. (Weather permitting)

 Hendry County Health Department in LaBelle: 1140 Pratt Blvd

Friday, June 5th from 9:00 a.m. to Noon. (Weather permitting)

 Residents of Hendry and Glades Counties can secure an appointment for testing by calling the Hendry County Health Department Clewiston (863) 983-1408, LaBelle (863) 674-4041 or Moore Haven (863) 946-0707 There are no criteria for testing, however, appointments are required and individuals must be 18 years and older. Appointments will not be made more than one week in advance. No same-day appointments will be made. No “walk-ins” accepted. Additionally, no anti-body testing is available.

 This is a “drive-thru” service. All individuals must stay in their vehicles during the process (during registration and while being tested). Persons tested will be notified by phone of their results. Results may take 5 business days.

The Hendry County Sheriff’s Office enacted a curfew last night in response to a social media advisory that protesters would be in Clewiston, in the Walmart parking lot. The protest was set to begin at 6 p.m. Upon arrival our news unit encountered Clewiston Police Officers blocking off each entrance of the Supercenter in an effort to thwart access to the property. No one, not a single protester, was seen in the parking lot.  We contacted several city officials after rudely being told to leave because we were “trespassing” and the store was closed, even after media credentials were plainly stated. Officials for the City of Clewiston, who will remain nameless, that no activity had taken place as of 8 o’clock last night.

For the fourth time in a row yesterday, the intersection of Parrott Avenue and Park Street in Okeechobee was the site of another demonstration. Despite the rain-soaked day and the threat for more of the same, local residents, both adult and child, gathered at the intersection once again to protest the unjust death of Minnesota resident George Floyd at the hands of Minneapolis police officers on Memorial Day. Okeechobee resident and nurse Amber Sewell, the demonstration’s organizer, says she’s glad the message has gotten out and brought the community together. She hopes it will allow for a chapter for Black Lives Matter be created here. One who joined the protest for the first time yesterday, Cody Polk, who moved to Okeechobee a few years ago from Palm Beach, says this is the beginning of something real for our generation and it’s time to stand up against the unjustness. There will be another demonstration this afternoon at the same intersection, Parrott Avenue and Park Street, beginning at 5:30.