News Cast 5/22

News Cast for May 22nd:

With the days of the school year dwindling away, the talk of the 2020 graduation of Okeechobee High School (OHS) students was a topic of discussion at yesterday’s meeting on the status of the Coronavirus. County School Superintendent Ken Kenworthy says this year’s graduation will be held at the Agri-Civic Center on Saturday May 30th in the morning instead of Friday afternoon the 29th because it would just be too hot and having it in the morning will allow students to have time with families afterward. Speaking of families, Kenworthy says regrettably, the graduation ceremony will only have students present and not include parents or other family; something the school didn’t originally set out to do.

While schools in other counties were conducting their graduations virtually, Kenworthy says that was never a consideration.

430 students will be graduating this year. Okeechobee County Commissioners renewed the local state of emergency for another week. 

The number of positive cases for the Coronavirus in Okeechobee County rose to 51 yesterday. 50 of those 51 people diagnosed with the virus are local residents and their ages range from 6 to 87 with the median age of the patients being 34. Five of the patients have been hospitalized. County Health Department officials say a staff member and eight juveniles at the Department of Juvenile Justice Facility (DJJ) have tested positive for COVID-19. Those who have 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 now include chills, muscle pain, diarrhea, vomiting, sore throat and a sudden loss of the sense of smell or sense of taste.

To get an idea of what restaurants or other businesses are open or closed in Okeechobee County, please log on to our website at www.wokc.com.

Along with the Wal-Mart parking lot on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays from 7am to 9am each day, Okeechobee County residents can be tested for the Coronavirus at the Okeechobee County Health Department, the emergency room at Raulerson Hospital or by contacting Florida Community Health Centers at (863) 763-7481. You must meet certain criteria before you can be tested and you need to make an appointment. If you’re not sure if you fit the criteria to be tested, please call the county health department and they’ll let you know for sure. These testing sites are available on weekends.

The Health Care District of Palm Beach County is expanding its ongoing COVID-19 testing for residents in Glades communities. Since last month, the Health Care District has offered testing on a walk-up basis with no appointment outside the C.L. Brumback Primary Care Clinic at Lakeside Medical Center on the 39 thousand block of Hooker Highway in Belle Glade. Appointments are now necessary and you can do that by calling (561) 642-1000. Patients can access the drive-thru testing lane or you can park and walk up to the existing site. Individuals can be any age and don’t need to have symptoms to be registered and tested. Results will be sent by a Health Care District provider as soon as possible.

Raulerson Hospital in Okeechobee remains on lockdown and they are not allowing any visitors to patients at this time.

The Okeechobee County COVID-19 information line remains open from 8am to 5pm every Monday thru Friday.  This hotline 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 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:

31 year old Cody Abram LaGrange of Okeechobee was arrested by sheriff’s deputies on an out of county arrest warrant for undisclosed charges. He’s being held without bond.

30 year old Hunter Ross Preston of Okeechobee was arrested for burglary with assault and battery and intentional child abuse. His bond is set at $15 thousand dollars.

43 year old Jacqueline Serrano of Okeechobee was arrested for possession of several unnamed narcotics without a prescription and tampering with evidence after a traffic stop. Her bond is set at ten thousand dollars.

26 year old Danielle McKynzee Kymada Shelton of Okeechobee was arrested for violating probation on undisclosed past charges. Her bond is set at $15 hundred dollars.

36 year old Stephanie Michelle Starcher of Okeechobee was arrested for possession of oxycodone without a prescription after a traffic stop. Her bond is set at five thousand dollars.

27 year old Jeffery Thomas Lee of Okeechobee was arrested for battery. His bond is set at five hundred dollars.

33 year old Shena Danielle Burney of Okeechobee was arrested by police for possession of methamphetamine, controlled substances without a prescription and drug paraphernalia after a traffic stop. Her bond is set at $10 thousand five hundred dollars.