Okeechobee County sees dramatic drop in COVID-19 cases


OKEECHOBEE -- Okeechobee County is seeing fewer cases of COVID-19.

“The good news is our percent positive has dropped down to 2.7%,” Bret Smith, of the Okeechobee County Health Department, told the Okeechobee County Commissioners at their Oct. 28 meeting.

“About a month and a half ago, we were at 29%,” he added.

As of Oct. 28, the county had 10 current 10 covid cases.

Most of those who test positive were not vaccinated. Since the last update at the Oct. 12 county meeting, the county has had one breakthrough case of a vaccinated person testing positive. That person did not require hospitalization, he said.

Smith said about 51% of the eligible population in Okeechobee County has been vaccinated.

“I think we are right on the edge of herd immunity,” he said. Vaccinations are encouraged to help combat the spread of the virus.

Smith said they are getting a lot of questions about the vaccine booster shots. Boosters are available to those over age 65, those with health issues that make them at high risk and those whose jobs put them at higher risk, such as medical personnel and first responders.

The county’s longterm care facility residents have already received booster shots, he said. Smith said there are 10 locations in Okeechobee available to provide booster shots, including pharmacies and the health department. Booster shots are available Tuesdays and Thursdays at the Okeechobee County Health department, 1728 NW 9th Ave, Okeechobee.

He said they are getting a lot of calls from winter visitors who are getting their booster shots before they come down to Florida.

Commissioner Terry Burroughs said as of Oct. 28, the hospital had one covid case under investigation.

For more information, call the Okeechobee County Health Department at 863-462-5800.

The Regeneron Monoclonal Antibody Therapy is available on Sundays at the Surgery Center across from the Hospital from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. This free therapy is for anyone 12 or older and at least 88 lbs. that has had direct exposure or tested positive for COVID-19. No appointment is needed!
Free testing is available as multiple locations including the Okeechobee County Agri-Civic Center.