OKEECHOBEE — The Florida Department of Health (FDOH) website update for June 3 shows a total of 97 COVID-19 cases in Okeechobee County with 96 county residents and one non-resident. Those who tested positive range in age from 2 to 87. Ten people have been hospitalized.
As of June 3, a total of 1,867 people had been tested in Okeechobee County. The county has a positive rate of 5.2%.
At the June 2 meeting of the Okeechobee City Council, Tiffany Collins of the Okeechobee County Health Department said those who are well should continue to wash their hands regularly, maintain 6 feet of social distancing from others and wear cloth face masks in public places, especially where it is not possible to maintain 6 feet of social distance. Those who are not well should avoid contact with others.
“We’ve tested the nursing home twice,” she said. The second round of tests was negative for all staff and residents, as was the testing conducted at the Grand Oaks assisted living facility.
So far Okeechobee County has not had any deaths related to COVID-19. “We hope to stay in that bubble,” she added, noting that surrounding counties have reported deaths.
Ms. Collins said the rioting in Miami caused the FDOH labs there to close early, which has delayed some of the testing.
She said there has been some confusion in regard to information put out by other state agencies, such as the Department of Juvenile Justice and the Florida Department of Corrections.
“When non-DOH sources report data, those aren’t always Okeechobee County residents,” she pointed out.
The June 3 report from the Florida Department of Health shows 27 of all positive cases reported in the county were related to correctional facilities, making up 28% of the positive cases.
The June 2 report from Florida Department of Juvenile Justice shows:
• Okeechobee Youth Development Center with five COVID-19 positive staff and 16 COVID-19 positive juveniles;
• Okeechobee Youth Treatment Center, with two positive staff;
• Okeechobee Girls Academy with three positive staff and one positive juvenile; and,
• Okeechobee Intensive Halfway House with two positive staff.
That makes a total of 12 positive staff members and 17 positive juveniles at DJJ facilities within Okeechobee County. However, on the FDOH report, staff members who live in other counties are counted for that county’s total positive cases. Juveniles incarcerated in Okeechobee County facilities and staff members who live in Okeechobee County are counted as part of Okeechobee County’s total cases.
The Florida Department of Corrections website shows two Okeechobee Corrections Institution staff tested COVID-19 positive. No OCI inmates have tested positive. OCI staff who test positive are counted in the county of their residence.
The Florida Department of Health state report, which lists positive results by county, shows the following for Okeechobee County, as of June 3:
• April 1: 41-year-old male (tested in Tampa but has permanent address in Okeechobee County);
• April 2: 33-year-old female;
• April 4: 74-year-old man (non-resident, does not have permanent address in Florida, was tested in Okeechobee County);
• April 6: 61-year-old female;
• April 7: 66-year-old female;
• April 17: 76-year-old female;
• April 19: 46-year-old female;
• April 21: 62-year-old female;
• April 23: 48-year-old female;
• April 26: 52-year-old female;
• April 29: 61-year-old male;
• April 30: 27-year-old male;
• May 2: 18-year-old male;
• May 2: 52-year-old male;
• May 3: 6-year-old male;
• May 3: 87-year-old female;
• May 3: 17-year-old male;
• May 5: 33-year-old male;
• May 6: 33-year-old female;
• May 6: 44-year-old female;
• May 7: 22-year-old male;
• May 7: 28-year-old female;