When the State of Florida transitioned to the Governor’s Phase 2 reopening plan last Friday, the initial communication plan from Levy County Emergency Management was to transition to once a week status summary of the cases in Levy County. Unfortunately, due to the significant increase in cases over the last four days, that plan had to be altered.
In one week, the Levy County cases increased from 39 total cases to 90. Levy County Emergency Management contacted the Florida Department of Health in Levy County as was informed that the increase in cases is from a single cluster of Non-Levy County resident workers in the Chiefland area that are all connected to each other, and are not a result of community spread. These new cases are not connected to Levy County residents, retail, or local businesses.
As with all cases, the Florida Department of Health has enacted strict isolation and quarantine guidelines, along with creating a comprehensive education and contact tracing program for the entire group. The Florida Department of Health will continue to monitor and test the entire cluster until they all are released after negative test results.
As the Florida Department of Health in Levy County is becoming more aggressive and proactive in their test process, they are able to identify cases much earlier, and they are able to locate a larger portion of patients that may show little to no symptoms. They have expanded their testing to include not only people that are showing symptoms, but also areas that may be at a higher risk of spreading COVID-19 internally, such as agricultural working areas, nursing homes, assisted living facilities, and hospice locations. Any Levy County resident or visitor that would like to receive a test, may contact the Florida Department of Health in Levy County at 352-486- 5300 to schedule an appointment to be tested, free of charge.
Despite the fact that the increase in cases are primarily from a single cluster, it is of vital importance that residents and visitors continue to take necessary personal protective actions to make sure that we limit the spread of COVID-19 throughout the community.
Continue to follow all CDC recommended guidelines on personal protections. Avoid touching your face as much as possible, wash your hands often, and use alcohol based hand sanitizer when hand washing is not possible. Practice social distancing of at least 6 feet between you and others when possible. Avoid hugs, handshakes, large gatherings and close quarters. Cover your mouth and nose with a cloth face cover when around others and out in public, such as the grocery store. Cover your mouth and nose with a tissue when you cough or sneeze or use the inside of your elbow. Clean/disinfect high touch surfaces including but not limited to tables, doorknobs, light switches, countertops, handles, desks, phones, keyboards, toilets, faucets, and sinks.
The Levy County Department of Emergency Management will continue to keep all of the COVID-19 stats for Levy County and the State of Florida updated and posted on our website at www.LevyDisaster.com. There, residents and visitors can access the most up to date information 24/7.
The State of Florida COVID-19 Call Center is also available 24/7 at 1-866-779-6121 or by email at COVIDfirstname.lastname@example.org