Wednesday September 30, 2020

As of 11 a.m. Tuesday, there have been 704,568 positive cases of the coronavirus recorded in the state. There are 14,143 Florida resident deaths reported. Hendry County now has 2,072 and 42 deaths. Confirmed cases in Hendry up by 3 since the last report. In Glades County, there are 541 cases, increasing by 1, and 4 deaths.

The Hendry County School Districts COVID-19 dashboard shows 29 students currently under quarantine, 15 of them from LaBelle Middle School, 10 of them from LaBelle Elementary. Three students have confirmed positive district wide. Four staff members have tested positive between Clewiston and LaBelle Middle Schools and an additional department. Three staff remain in quarantine. County wide in Hendry, cases are up by 3 since the last report with 2,072 reported positive cases since testing began.                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            

September is Suicide Awareness Month, and with all that is going on, it should not be forgotten as we head into October. Earlier this month, officials from New Horizons of the Treasure Coast and the 211 Helpline Services proclaimed September as Suicide Awareness Month in Okeechobee County. It’s a time to help those who are suicidal or encourage them to seek help or help people spread the word about preventing suicide. New Horizons Acting CEO Pat Austin accepted the proclamation and she talked about a recent initiative that New Horizons was a part of called Zero Suicide, a part care, part research program and she says the findings were quite profound. While one hundred percent preventable, suicide is the second leading cause of death among people ages ten thru 34 and the tenth overall leading cause of death in the country with 47 thousand lives lost from it.

Hendry County is conducting mosquito spraying over Hookers Point, Wheeler Estates, LaBelle Acres (Case and Evans Roads) and LaBelle Ranchettes (Alphabet Roads) through Sunday, October 4th. These operations will continue throughout the remainder of the year as mosquito levels warrant. The insecticide to treat for adult mosquitoes is approved for application by the Environmental Protection Agency and the State of Florida. 

U.S. Army Corps of Engineers reports the Moore Haven Lock and Dam near Lake Okeechobee in Glades County is closed to all types of boats until further notice. The block includes canals to the north and south. According to the Corps, due to the extensive formation of floating vegetation and high winds, portions of the Okeechobee Waterway have become impassable for marine vessel traffic. Boaters may travel locally on the Okeechobee Waterway, and local fishing will be available on Lake Okeechobee, but can only access the lake through Port Mayaca and the locks located around Lake Okeechobee. Other restricted areas include large areas of Route #2 from Uncle Joe’s Fish Camp to Structure S-282 (Culvert C-5A at the north entrance to the Rim Canal). No vessels are allowed in the restricted areas. There is currently no estimated time for completion.

Belle Glade teens are trying to improve their community by encouraging people to vote and participate in the census through a drive-thru. 17-year-olds Nishah Jaferi, and Iyunni Phillips helped organize the drive-thru, and are part of an organization called Philanthropy Tank. Their drive-through had free food, people helping with census and voter’s registration, and hygiene kits that included things to keep people safe from COVID-19. Philanthropy Tank’s CEO hopes the drive can inspire other Palm Beach County kids to find ways to help their communities.