Okeechobee County parks open, but public reminded to avoid large gatherings, observe ‘social distancing’

OKEECHOBEE — Okeechobee County Public Safety Director Ralph Franklin reminds citizens that the COVID-19 Virus continues to evolve and we want to assure everyone that County staff is working hard to keep our citizens safe and informed every step of the way. We continue working closely with the County Health Department and the State to monitor this situation.

Regarding all outdoor county parks and recreation facilities and fields, signs are posted in all of the parks advising citizens to avoid mass gatherings of people. These areas include all picnic table areas, pavilions, playground equipment areas, bathrooms, the adult softball field and volleyball area, and all soccer/baseball fields.

County staff is witnessing the majority of the public keeping a cautious distance with each other, however, a few groups t are gathering despite having their events cancelled and the recommendations to prevent the gatherings. For the continued safety of our community, county staff encourages the public to report any gatherings located at any parks and recreation fields/facilities to law enforcement immediately at 863-763-3117.

County staff will also continue to monitor all parks and also report to law enforcement immediately.

Failure of citizens to abide by the Governor’s 2020-83 Protective Measures for Vulnerable Populations, Gatherings of Private Citizens and Density of the Workforce, could result in misdemeanor charges.

It is imperative that citizens follow the DOH guidelines and avoid mass gatherings. Practice social distancing – keep 6 feet between you and other people when possible. Avoid hugs, handshakes, and large gatherings in close quarters.

As a reminder, current Parks & Recreation closures are: • The Public Library is closed to public.

• Parks & Recreation Rental Facilities are closed to the public.

• The county swimming pool is closed to the public.

• The Agri-Civic Center is closed to the public.

• The Darrel Enfinger Sports Complex, Wooden Jungle Playground & Pavilion is closed from dusk until 8 a.m.

The Okeechobee County COVID-19 information line is open Monday-Friday from 8 s.m. -5:00 p.m. at 863- 763-3536, for questions regarding updates on local services, restaurants, grocery stores, business closings, and more.

For questions related specifically to the coronavirus, symptoms, testing, and treatment, please call the Okeechobee Health Department at 863-462-5800 or call the 24/7 Department of Health Hotline at 866- 779-6121.

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