News Cast 6/1

News Cast for June 1st:

Today is June 1st and that means Hurricane Season is officially underway. With that, officials at FEMA are reminding people to start making a disaster plan now because we are moving to a time when things are changing and you don’t know what to expect and it could mean the difference between you and your family being safe or not safe during a hurricane. FEMA spokesperson Curtis Allen says one of the most important things to remember when creating a disaster plan is communication.

Allen also recommends planning ahead when you have to evacuate and do not ignore the evacuation warnings. Creating a disaster kit is important and while it should contain food and water, it should also contain enough medication for at least 72 hours. Governor Ron DeSantis approved a disaster preparedness sales tax holiday that began on Friday and will continue until June 4th. That means no sales tax on items like batteries, generators and other supplies. For more information, you can log on to floridarevenue.com/disasterprep.

During their last meeting, the Okeechobee City Council took the time to conduct the evaluation of City Administrator Marcos Montes De Oca. Councilmembers gave De Oca a four out of five rating for his performance as the city administrator. De Oca says he’s happy with his evaluation and continues to work to be the best he can possibly be. De Oca says 2020 thus far has been his most difficult year professionally with the COVID-19, the fire services discussion and soon the city budget being huge issues to deal with.

De Oca, who began as Okeechobee’s City Administrator in September of 2015, says while he’s not perfect at his job, he’ll continue to work at it by reviewing personal goals and reviewing comments he’s received. The city council meets tomorrow night at City Hall at six o’clock.

Also as of Friday, Martin County has 601 positive cases of the Coronavirus with nine fatalities, Hendry County has 387 reported cases now with 14 fatalities, Glades County has 27 reported cases with one fatality, Highlands County has 120 cases with nine fatalities, Osceola County has 688 positive cases with 19 fatalities and Palm Beach has 5,765 cases with 335 fatalities.

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.

According to the latest update from the COVID-19 dashboard, the latest number of reported positive cases for Hendry County is 339 and that number may be even higher now. Brenda Barnes of the Florida Department of Health in Glades County responded to the recent spike saying, people still need to adhere to CDC guidelines.

There is currently no vaccine to prevent the Coronavirus. The best way to prevent being affected by the illness is to avoid being exposed to it. The virus is thought to spread mainly from person-to-person. It may also be possible that a person can get the virus by touching a surface or object that has the virus on it and then touching their own mouth, nose or eyes, but this is not thought to be the main way the virus spreads.

On the arrest report:

39 year old Jason Michael Oyong of Okeechobee was arrested by sheriff’s deputies for possession of methamphetamine. His bond is set at five thousand dollars.

26 year old Garrett Lee Chapman of Okeechobee was arrested for criminal mischief. His bond is set at $750 dollars.

55 year old Scott Denton Salmon of Okeechobee was arrested for battery and petit theft. His bond is set at three hundred dollars.

35 year old Juan Ramon Montijo of Okeechobee was arrested for possession of methamphetamine and drug paraphernalia. His bond is set at six thousand dollars.

19 year old Kendia Monique Boyd of Okeechobee was arrested for battery and obstruction with violence. Her bond is set at a thousand dollars.

42 year old Phillip Ray Greenwell of Okeechobee was arrested for violating probation on past charges of possession of a controlled substance without a prescription. He’s being held without bond.

29 year old Santiago Nicholas Luviano of Okeechobee was arrested for possession of methamphetamine and drug paraphernalia. His bond is set at six thousand dollars.

53 year old Shaun Patrick Sibole of Okeechobee was arrested for battery, resisting arrest, contempt of court and violating probation on past battery charges. His bond is set at $45 hundred dollars.

30 year old Johnathan Garcia of Okeechobee was arrested for cocaine possession and driving on a suspended license after a traffic stop. His bond is set at six thousand dollars.

41 year old Eduardo Salvador Trejo Rico of Okeechobee was arrested by police for driving without a valid license and having an expired registration after a traffic stop. He was released after posting a one thousand dollar bond.