Tuesday May 19, 2020 News

After no reported recoveries for over a week, Hendry County releases the latest number of residents, who have been cleared of COVID-19 concerns by the Department of Health. Since May 9, there were 28 reported recoveries of the virus in our home county. As of yesterday afternoon, that number has risen by 5. 33 residents have been cleared of coronavirus and no longer require isolation. Hendry still has 177 active positive cases of COVID-19. Please continue to adhere to all safety guidelines from the CDC and DOH.  Appointments can be made at the Clewiston Health Department on Tuesdays from 10 am to 12 noon at (863) 983-1408 and appointments can be made at the LaBelle Health Department on Fridays from 10 am to 12 noon at (863) 674-4041. Residents need to contact their healthcare provider for more information on the process.

Okeechobee City Council has a new proposal for the sale of alcoholic beverages to begin at seven o’clock each morning, seven days a week. Mayor Dowling Watford says the new proposed ordinance has a good chance of being approved despite the fact it will be different than the county’s recently approved ordinance of not allowing alcoholic beverages be sold until after ten o’clock on Sundays (City Alcohol Ordinance 1). The idea for the new ordinance was brought up by Councilmember Monica Clark, who believes that we can’t distinguish between a day of the week because not everyone in the community are Sunday Christians. The first reading on the ordinance will take place at either tonight’s meeting or the June 2nd meeting.

The Mall at Wellington Green is back in business after being closed for nearly two months due to the coronavirus pandemic. The has mall announced new safety measures to help keep shoppers and employees safe. All entrances are equipped with hand sanitizing stations and signs promoting health and safety guidelines.

Although face masks aren’t mandatory by the state, shoppers are encouraged to wear them. Some shops at the mall may require one before entering. The mall has also rolled out a new curbside pickup service. Each store and restaurant has been assigned one of seven color-coded customer pick up parking areas located around the mall. When it’s time for your order to be picked up, the store team will let you know which location to use and provide you the phone number. Once you arrive simply call the number and your items will be delivered right to your car. Mall hours are Monday to Saturday 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. and Sunday from noon to 6 p.m.

The City of Belle Glade has been identified as an emerging coronavirus hot spot in Palm Beach County. Health officials are making sure rural and minority communities are informed about social distancing guidelines and testing opportunities. According to the Health Care District of Palm Beach County, Lakeside Medical Center in Belle Glade tested 243 people between March 14 and May 7. Of those patients, 41% came back positive for COVID-19. County commissioners discussed the Belle Glade spike at a special meeting last Friday. Commissioner Melissa McKinlay, who represents the area, said the county needs to adjust its messaging, outreach, and education for the rural and minority community. The health care district says it is increasing messaging in multiple languages, passing out educational flyers, posting on social media, and putting out a radio PSA with retired NFL player Anquan Boldin, who is from the area.

On Wednesday, May 20, the Palm Beach County Fire Rescue Department will conduct a walk-up and drive-up COVID-19 testing at the Canal Point Community Center, 12860 U.S. 441, to any resident who wishes to be tested – regardless of symptoms. Testing is free. No appointment is necessary. For information, call Houston L. Tate at 561-233-5303.

WAFC received witness reports of what appeared to be an accident in Western Palm Beach County yesterday morning. About a ½ mile north of South Bay on HWY 27, a special road crew was present to repair the swail area and all Southbound traffic had to be diverted to the old HWY 27 for over 3 hours. No further information has been provided regarding the cause of the accident or if there were any injuries.