As the COVID-19 crisis continues, Floridians are adjusting to the world of self-isolation, social distancing and online learning. Around the lake, as of press time Tuesday, only Okeechobee County has no confirmed cases of COVID-19. On Tuesday, a Moore Haven man with COVID-19 died.
More cases reported statewide
Statewide, 6,096 persons have tested positive for COVID-19, with 772 hospitalized and 77 deaths.
Around Lake Okeechobee:
• Four Hendry County residents have tested positive, two Clewiston women and two men, ranging in age from 28 to 70.
• Three Glades County men, ranging in age from 67 to 89, have also tested positive. Two are in isolation. The 89-year-old man from Moore Haven died Tuesday.
• In Palm Beach County, 268 men and 237 women have tested positive for COVID-19. They range in age from only months old to 99. Eleven people have died; 57 are hospitalized.
• Martin County has 18 men and 10 women who tested positive, ranging in age from 20 to 80, with four hospitalized.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the Florida Department of Health urge everyone to follow the health and safety guidelines to slow the spread of COVID-19:
• Stay home as much as possible;
• Wash your hands often with soap and water;
• Cover your coughs and sneezes;
• Clean and disinfect surfaces often;
• If you are sick, call your medical provider or local health department.
More information about COVID-19 cases in Florida can be found on the DOH website at floridahealthcovid19.gov/.
Students learn from home
On Monday, Floridians learned schools will be closed at least until May 1.
“The commissioner of education just informed superintendents that schools are to maintain online learning through May 1. Plans will be reevaluated after that date,” Okeechobee County Superintendent of Schools Ken Kenworthy stated Monday. “Thank you all for your patience today as the nation experiences capacity issues. Hopefully, the growing pains will decrease over the next couple of days.”
“While we hoped to welcome our students back sooner than later, we understand that we all have to do what is best for the safety of our students, staff and community,” said Glades County Superintendent Kim Jordan. “This is a new challenge but I believe our students will learn to adapt. We will witness their resiliency in action. It’s not ideal, but in the years to come we will see how this whole experience has impacted their lives in a positive way.” The district encourages all parents to read the Glades e-Learning Plan posted on the district website: gladesedu.org. There, parents can find information in English and Spanish on instructional policies, procedures and contact information for WiFi and technical issues.
Palm Beach County Superintendent Dr. Donald Fennoy posted an online message. “Students, this will be a different way of learning for you, but you are up to the task. It is very important for you to remember that students throughout Florida, and much of this country, if not the world, are learning the same way you are right now,” he said. “You are not alone. The teachers will be with you every step of the way.”
Hendry County schools created a centralized location on the district’s website to access Distance Learning material. School officials encourage parents to go online to hendry-schools.org and click on their student’s school under the Distance Learning tab. This is where they will find grade level and content area lesson plans and resources for the upcoming weeks. This will continue to be updated.