Tuesday July 7, 2020

Last week, several agencies including Clewiston Police and Fire Departments, Golisano Children’s Hospital, Safe Kids Worldwide and the Department of Children and Families were in Clewiston to participate in a demonstration to provide awareness for Pediatric Vehicular Heatstroke awareness. Last year, 52 children died in hot cars, 53 in 2018. This year so far, there have been 6. Another major concern is for our pets, who are also in extreme danger of overheating. Aimie McLaughlin, events coordinator for Gulf Coast Humane Society, was also at the presentation. On a warm day, the temperature in a car can exceed 120 degrees in a matter of minutes, even with the windows partially open. McLaughlin says although we live in a pet-friendly community, we should leave our pets home unless its completely necessary. Your pet can quickly suffer brain damage and die from heatstroke or suffocation. If your pet does become overcome by the heat, according to the ASPCA, bring its body temperature down by soaking the animal in cool water, making sure not to get the water into the mouth or nose and seek immediate veterinary care. For tips on pet safety, visit aspca.org or your local humane society.

Florida saw a record number of new coronavirus cases over the weekend, and now the state’s total number of COVID-19 cases has surpassed 200,000. The Florida Department of Health latest numbers as of July 6 reports Hendry County now has 1,101 people who have tested positive for COVID-19 since testing began in March. We’ll be talking with the Department of Health soon, to see just what these numbers mean. Glades County now has 188 positive cases. Okeechobee has 439. Belle Glade has 617, South Bay has 288, Pahokee has 278. Check your local health departments for testing dates and times.

The American Red Cross is offering FREE virtual Hurricane Preparedness programs in English and Spanish.  Be Red Cross Ready presentations are offered by trained volunteers via Microsoft Teams, no special software is needed. Be Red Cross Ready is a national, standardized, free preparedness education curriculum designed to help people understand, prepare for, and respond appropriately to disasters. In the training, one can learn preparedness skills and how to identify the risks in your home and neighborhood. The next session will take place July 9 (Thursday) from 4:00PM – 5:15PM Presented by James Hagen. Click here to Register.  The Spanish session will be held on July 8 (Wednesday) from 12:30PM -1:45PM  Presented by: Oscar Castellano Click here to Register.

The Southwest Florida Research and Education Center in Belle Glade is busily resuming data collection, which was put on hold in March at the onset of the Corona virus, both at the center and on cooperative grower properties. Associate director for stakeholder relations Gene McAvoy was featured on a CNN report recently about the Corona virus and its impact on Florida.  The segment included information about the state’s unemployment issues, a halt to construction projects, and the devastating effects to the agricultural industry, which McAvoy addressed.  The segment also was picked up by multiple news affiliates, such as this NBC station in Richmond, Virginia: Visit our website for a link to watch the segment.  https://www.nbc12.com/video/2020/06/26/coronavirus-batters-florida-economy-cases-surge/.

As if parents and students don’t have enough to worry about with schools beginning to reopen amidst a global pandemic, Gov. Ron DeSantis has signed a new law that requires all public schools in the state of Florida to have a silent panic alarm. Alyssa’s Law was named in honor of Alyssa Alhadeff, 14, who was killed in the Feb. 14, 2018, massacre at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland. Students or teachers will be able to push the buttons inside their classrooms, directly alerting law enforcement of what and where the threat may be, cutting down on response times. Panic button technology that is already available can work through a smart phone application, allowing users to notify authorities. Users can even categorize incidents, such as a medical emergency or an active shooter.