OKEECHOBEE -- Okeechobee County recorded just three new cases of COVID-19 for the week ending March 24, according to Bret Smith of the Florida Department of Health in Okeechobee. All three new positive cases were unvaccinated persons under the age of 65 who had not previously tested positive.
“Our goal is to keep it below 10%,” said Smith. “This week, so far it’s below 1%.
He said the COVID-19 testing site at the ag center will close on Friday due to lack of demand. He said they were testing fewer than five people a day. The health department will continue to offer testing.
At the March 24 meeting of the Okeechobee County Board of Commissioners, Smith said 331 persons were tested in Okeechobee County for the week. The new positivity rate is just 0.91%.
Just one month ago, for the seven-day period ending Feb. 24, 333 persons were tested and 26 were positive for a positivity rate of 8.1%.
“So far for this whole month, we’ve had less than 30 cases,” said Smith.
He said there is concern the covid numbers in Florida might jump due to people traveling over Spring Break. “In Okeechobee, we don’t think Spring Break is going to cause a big spike in cases,” he added.
“I think we’re doing very good with everybody getting boosters and getting vaccinated,” Smith said.
Smith said with fewer covid cases, the health department can return to devoting more staff to other services.
He said the county’s vaccination rate continues to rise. Booster shots are also available. He said the decision on whether or not to get a booster shot or additional booster shots is up to the individual.
“If you had your booster, I don’t know that I would go running out to get another booster,” he said.