News Update for 4/2/20

Highlands County’s numbers for residents testing positive for the coronavirus continue to increase. Now 21 people have been confirmed here. Of those, 12 are men and 9 are women. Five have been hospitalized and there’s one death locally. Apparently five are from Sebring, five from Lake Placid, four from Avon Park, two from the Venus area and the rest are not released.
The age range now runs the gamut from 0 to 82. Eight are said to be travel-related, three out of the country and the rest out of state. Florida department of health officials have not yet released any local or statewide recovery rates.
Both Hardee and Okeechobee counties have registered their first cases of Corona, with one apiece. Desoto remains at 7 with Polk now at 91.
There have been 69,265 tests now done across Florida. 60,356 have been negative with 7,773 positives the rest are pending.

Florida Governor Ron DeSantis has issued an executive Stay At Home order for the Sunshine State in the wake of the Coronavirus. It officially takes effect tonight at midnight.
Essentially, it means non-essential businesses should close and all non-essential activities should cease.
Highlands County Sheriff’s officials say there is NO CURFEW in effect for Highlands County at this time.
The supply chain will remain in operation, with grocery stores, gas stations and drug stores to remain open. Officils say there is no need to rush to the store and buy bulk supplies as trips to these places will not be curtailed.

Local country singer and evangelist Tommy Brandt has been holding a drive-in church Sunday evenings at the Fountain Shopping plaza. Now comes word that drive-in prayer vigils will be held tonight from 6:45 to 7:15pm at AdventHealth locations in Lake Placid, Sebring and Wauchula – as well as at the Highlands Regional Medical Center.
The effort apparently is being organized by local churches involved with the Abide 21 program. Motorists are asked to park their vehicles in the lot and put their hazard lights on while in prayer. They are asked NOT to leave their cars.