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Easter Message from the Chairman

Published on Apr 10, 2020

Friends…As we go into Easter weekend, we find our nation in a battle with an invisible killer. COVID-19 virus has taken the lives of eight innocent individuals in Polk County and hospitalized more than 70.

I want you to know Polk County, the Health Department and our medical community are doing everything we can to mitigate the effects of the COVID-19 virus on our residents.

Please realize the county cannot, and will not, be able to stop the spread of this virus. There is no cure and probably will not be a cure before the end of this year. The only way to slow this virus down and bring our lives back to normal again is for every citizen to act responsibly and follow the CDC guidelines of social distancing, washing hands frequently, and wearing face protection when out in public.

People with underlying health conditions are at risk of losing their lives and we must act responsibly and protect them as best we can.

Medical experts are forecasting that the peak of this pandemic will occur in Florida over the next few days. Once the peak passes, we cannot let down our guard, become complacent, and stop following CDC guidelines. The COVID-19 virus will still be among us. Lives will continue to be lost. The pressure on our health care system may be somewhat relieved, but if we go back to our old ways, the spread of the virus will repeat.

I understand your concerns about testing for COVID-19. More than 3,400 people have been tested in Polk County, so only those who exhibit symptoms of the COVID-19 virus are being tested due to the shortage of kits. Of those 3,400, only seven percent have tested positive. When compared to Dade County with 19% and Palm Beach County with 18% of their tests coming back positive, Polk is well ahead of the curve. We are holding our own, but we cannot relax now.

Thank you for your understanding and patience as we go through this health crisis together. Please take time to be with your family this Easter, and enjoy the greatness that God has bestowed upon us. We will get through this with everyone exercising individual responsibility.