Tuesday December 15, 2020

Nearly 470 students are currently under at home quarantine order in the Hendry County School District according to the district’s dashboard. 211 of those students are exclusively from LaBelle High School. 37 students are confirmed positive from the 10 schools combined. Authorities have not said, to what they attribute the high numbers in the district, as the numbers in Hendry continue to climb. We reached out the Brenda Barnes of the Department of Health for Hendry to ask about contact tracing, we have not heard back. 37 staff members are under quarantine throughout the district, 14 staff members are currently reporting positive for COVID-19.

Eight months after Palm Beach County received $261 million in federal coronavirus relief aid, nearly all of it is spent and accounted for. Just about $50 million remains in the county’s CARES Act funds, and it has to be spent before the end of the year. The county spent about $78.5 million to help struggling small businesses and some was used to help residents with rent and utilities and food. Millions went toward COVID testing, broadband upgrades, and masks for every resident. Nearly a million dollars went toward the development and marketing of the county’s CombatCOVID app, which is a free contact tracing app for smart phones.  Residents are hoping remaining CARES Act funds will help people and businesses facing eviction.

As of the latest report released yesterday, the Florida Department of Health reported 1,134,383 confirmed cases of COVID-19 in the state, that’s up 8,452 cases from Sunday’s update. The state also reported a single-day increase of 137 deaths. 46 people have died in Hendry County since the onset of the pandemic, out of now 2, 785 total cases reported. Glades County has lost 11 residents to the virus, out of 718 total reported cases. For a full breakdown of the cases in Florida, click here.

Earlier this week, Florida’s Education Commissioner Richard Corcoran disclosed that school districts have yet to spend a half-a-billion dollars in federal CARES Act funding it received. Florida’s school districts had almost $700 million allocated to them for products, services and people needed to educate students in the state amid the pandemic. Specifically, in Hendry County, some say they are having difficulty accessing information about the CARES ACT. We reached out the Hendry County BOCC spokesperson Emily Hunter for information but we have not heard back.