News Cast 5/28

News Cast for May 28th:

Okeechobee County Commissioners will meet this morning and they will have their weekly discussion on the status of the Coronavirus in the county and they will also discuss current strategies for hurricane shelters during the pandemic. Commissioners will also get an update on the proposed County Jail Renovation and Expansion project. The meeting will be held in the Historic County Courthouse beginning at nine o’clock and it’ll be streamed live on the commissioners’ website. Public is invited to attend but they must adhere to the social distancing guidelines.

Speaking of the county commissioners, during their last meeting earlier this month, they unanimously approved the leasing of an unoccupied building to a new business at Industrial Park. Officials from Milking R. Dairy were granted approval to lease a building at the County Airport that will be used for bottling their own milk. Airport Director Adam Hied says Milking R. Dairy Ranch, which is only few miles away from the airport, will be using this vacant building to bottle their milk because health codes forbid them from doing it at their ranch. Hied says the building, previously occupied by Advance Stone, is perfect for the bottling of their milk. Milking R Dairy’s owner, Sutton Rucks, says the first lease will be ten years with the option of two ten-year renewals. They should be moving into the building within 90 days.

This month is Mental Health Awareness Month in Okeechobee County and recently the County School Board took the time during their last meeting to accept the proclamation declaring it so. Good mental health is a key component in a child’s healthy development and success. School Board member Amanda Riedel, who works with a children’s center that provides mental health services to kids who have gone through some mental trauma, accepted the proclamation on behalf of the board and she says this proclamation means more to her than most. Riedel says the district needs to be more open to making positive changes to adopt trauma informed care outlook systems and adding that to what the district provides academically. City Councilmembers also accepted the same proclamation during one of their recent meetings.

The number of positive cases for the Coronavirus in Okeechobee County is still at 67 as of yesterday. 66 of those 67 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. Six of the patients have been hospitalized. 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.

As of yesterday morning, Martin County has 550 positive cases of the Coronavirus with nine fatalities, Hendry County has 339 reported positive cases now with 12 fatalities.  Glades County remains at 24 positive cases to go along with one fatality, likewise Highlands County remains at 114 cases with eight fatalities, Osceola County has 673 cases with 19 fatalities and Palm Beach has 5,455 cases with 320 fatalities. There are now 52,634 reported cases of people who have tested positive for the Coronavirus in the state, with 51,283 of them being FL residents. The state’s death toll stands at 2,319 with 9,639 people hospitalized.

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.

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:

28 year old Lemiah Rydel McIntosh of Okeechobee was arrested by sheriff’s deputies for trespassing on private property. His bond is set at $25 hundred dollars.

44 year old David Scott Cook of Okeechobee was arrested for petit theft. His bond is set at five hundred dollars.

19 year old Ethan Wyatt Johnson of Okeechobee was arrested for violating probation on undisclosed charges. He’s being held without bond.

48 year old Rebecca Scott Maynor of Okeechobee was arrested for violating probation on past DUI charges. She was released after posting a $15 hundred dollar bond.

27 year old James Richard Moody of Okeechobee was arrested for possession of methamphetamine and drug paraphernalia. His bond is set at three thousand dollars.

53 year old Robert Lee Walton of Okeechobee was arrested for driving on a suspended license. He was released after posting a one thousand dollar bond.