News Update for 3/23/20

After a weekend snafu indicating a false positive – Highlands County has joined many others across the Sunshine State in saying that we have a local case of the Corona Virus. Apparently, it is a 78-year-old woman. However, health officials have not released any information as to the whereabouts in the county nor the severity of illness.
Closures continue in an effort to keep people at home. Officials in Lake Placid have announced the beach at Lake June is closed and Highlands Hammock State Park will shut their gates today as part of a statewide directive.

Highlands County Sheriff’s officials say their dispatch continues to be jammed – both by people who want health information and by people reporting groups of 10 or more not practicing what has been called “social distancing.”
Authorities say first, all health information calls should be directed to health officials. There is a hotline that rings at 866-779-6121.
More importantly, the county is NOT on a state of lockdown, and crowds sizes, make-up and activities are not mandated by law.

For those feeling ill – drive-up services now are avalable. AdventHealth Prompt Care at Sun ‘N Lake, now is offering curbside care. Patients with common illnesses such as colds, sinus infections and other minor illnesses can now be seen by a physician from the convenience of their car.
Patients will be screened when they arrive in the parking lot and will be designated as curbside care or traditional prompt care. If designated as curbside, a physician will provide care at the patient’s vehicle and provide treatment as needed.

There were two deaths over the weekend – from traffic accidents. A 45-year-old Lake Placid woman was killed last night in a single vehicle accident on Highway 27. Florida Highway Patrol officials say Rebecca Lee Barnett lost control of her car near Lake Josephine Drive.
The vehicle spun, then overturned several times. Apparently she was not buckled up and was thrown out of the car.
A Bartow man died Friday when he hit a semi tractor-trailer rig. Troopers say 32-year-old Kevin Scott ran a red light at the intersection of Highway 27 and State Road 70 and slammed into the rig’s trailer.