News Cast 11/18

News Cast for November 18th:

Okeechobee County Sheriff’s detectives are currently investigating a shooting that claimed the life of a 16 year old Okeechobee boy late Monday night. Detectives say the boy was transported by a private vehicle to Raulerson Hospital in Okeechobee shortly before 11:30 for initial treatment for a gunshot wound before being transported to Lawnwood Regional Medical Center in Ft. Pierce for further treatment. The boy would later be pronounced dead by medics. This is an ongoing investigation and if you have any information at all, you’re encouraged to come forward with that information by calling the sheriff’s office at (863) 763-3117 or by calling Treasure Coast Crime Stoppers at 1-800-273-8477 if you’d like to remain anonymous. The boy’s name is not being released at this time by detectives.

The number of positive COVID-19 cases in Okeechobee County as of yesterday unfortunately rose by 14 more but fortunately the number of fatalities once again stayed the same for the seventh straight day.  As of yesterday morning, courtesy of the FL Department of Health, Okeechobee County has 1,884 positive cases of the Coronavirus since March, and fatalities still number at 43. 1,879 people diagnosed with the virus are local residents and their ages range from infant to one hundred with the median age of the patients being an even forty. Hospitalized county residents are numbering at 198. Those who’ve tested positive are being cooperative with the county and their health providers and going through routine contact tracing. Along with fever, coughing and shortness of breath, other COVID-19 symptoms to watch out for include chills, muscle pain, diarrhea, vomiting, sore throat and a sudden loss of sense of smell or sense of taste.

As of yesterday morning, officials from the state health department are reporting 889,864 positive COVID-19 cases since March and 877,340 of those are FL residents. Florida’s death toll is at 17,559 with 52,019 people hospitalized.

Okeechobee County residents can be tested, by appointment only, for the Coronavirus at the County Health Department between the hours of eight o’clock in the morning and two o’clock in the afternoon. This is an oral swab test. The Florida Community Health Centers have a drive-thru and walk-up COVID-19 testing site available every Tuesday and Thursday from eight o’clock in the morning until noon at the former Okeechobee Surgery Center located at 1655 Highway 441 North. No appointment is necessary and you don’t need insurance, but if you have it, please bring your insurance card, otherwise please bring photo identification. Testing is free in both locations.

The Okeechobee County COVID-19 information line remains open from 8am to 5pm now every Tuesday thru Saturday. This number, which also doubles as the phone number of the County Library is manned by live personnel and callers can ask about county updates on the Coronavirus and what is being done. The hotline will not address questions about the virus itself or medical questions. The County Library phone number/hotline related to county updates on the Coronavirus is (863) 763-3536. Any questions related to the virus itself, please call the Okeechobee Health Department at (863) 462-5800 or the 24/7 Department of Health hotline at (866) 779-6121.

Remember, the key to avoiding the Coronavirus is good personal hygiene. Washing your hands for at least 20-30 seconds with soap and water or using a hand sanitizer with at least 60 percent alcohol in it is recommended. Avoid touching your eyes or face with unwashed hands. Practice social distancing by keeping at least six feet away from someone when greeting them and not shaking any hands. Avoid shopping at peak hours and use delivery services instead.  Avoid places where there are 10 people or more.

If you need further information about the virus and recommendations for preventing it, please log on to the Department of Health at floridahealth.gov or the Center for Disease Control at cdc.gov.

On the arrest report:

27 year old Travis Eugene Butts of Okeechobee was arrested by sheriff’s deputies for trespassing and failing to leave as ordered by the property owner. He was released on his own recognizance.

55 year old Jose Cruz Galvan of Okeechobee was arrested for violating probation on past charges of drunk driving. He was released after posting a $25 hundred dollar bond.

35 year old Tanya Leigh Law of Okeechobee was arrested by police for forgery charges. Her bond is set at $750.00 dollars.

52 year old Gilbert Tagle of Moore Haven was arrested on a local warrant for driving on a suspended license after a traffic stop. He was released after posting a two thousand dollar bond.