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Hendry County sees spike in positive cases of COVID-19

More people are testing positive for the coronavirus in Hendry County and the health department said it’s working around the clock to find out what’s behind the increase.

The Department of Health in Hendry County said they found a spike in people testing positive, mostly from one cluster – people in one spot, in close contact with each other and spreading the virus. They’re tracking down those who have been in contact with known positive cases.

They said being a smaller county actually helps.

“Our team has been working seven days a week, 12, 14 hours a day to try to keep the community safe,” said Brenda Barnes with the Florida Department of Health in Hendry County/Glades County.

Ten people are working to keep around 42,000 people healthy and alive in Hendry County.

“We have some known clusters in the community. What that means is with contract tracing in our community, an individual that tested positive or other individuals in the same family or who work very closely together on the job,” Barnes said.

The contact tracing team calls people who might have been exposed. Those people can self-isolate, monitor for symptoms or get tested if they need to.

The team also helps to educate a business where there could be exposure.

“Now that’s definitely a plus, being a small community in that we know the business owners, a lot of them. we know the people in our community. It’s easier to have those conversations,” Barnes said.

The latest numbers from the Florida Department of Health show that there are 339 known positive cases in Hendry County, with 12 deaths attributed to COVID-19.

The health department said there are six testing sites in Hendry County, with drive-thru testing in LaBelle at 1140 Pratt Blvd., and in Clewiston at 1100 S. Olympia.

Those tests are available to anyone, but they do ask that you make an appointment. Call 863-983-1408 in Clewiston or 863-674-4041 in LaBelle.

Reporter:Anika Henanger
Writer:Jackie Winchester
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