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Message to the Community from Chairman Braswell

Published on Mar 30, 2020

Bartow, Fla. (March 30, 2020) —

As of Monday, March 30, more than 800 individuals in Polk County have been tested for the COVID-19 virus. There are 55 who have tested positive with 19 being admitted to the hospital. The majority of the positive tests have been in the Davenport/Kissimmee (Poinciana) area, but every corner of the county has now been affected.

As testing increases, no doubt that more positive cases will be confirmed. So far, about six percent of Polk’s tests return positive, which is less than the state average of 10 percent.

COVID-19 will remain a serious disease in our community. There is no cure and probably will not be one for some time to come. And it’s moving quickly, affecting our jobs, our families and our communities.

We must do everything we can to stop the spread of COVID-19. The best thing you can do is to stay healthy by strictly adhering to the CDC guidelines; wash your hands often, socially distance and if you have an underlying health issue, stay home.

Polk County has not issued a “stay at home” order and there is no related curfew. As always, the best place to effect change is in your own home. We expect our citizens to follow CDC guidelines staying home as much as possible. Be smart and try to consolidate trips away from your home.

For business owners who do not provide essential services, please consider closing your business, decreasing your hours, offering online services or curbside pickup. The goal is to slow the infection rate so we do not need to take more drastic action.

There are many ways to stay informed about the COVID-19 virus. The county website is updated multiple times daily with the information you need. Links to other informative websites are available there too. County services continue, with buildings closed to public access, operating through online, telecommuting and telephone.

It is in the word community that we will find the strength to not only persevere but to emerge stronger and more resilient than ever. We will get through this crisis. This is not the time for panic. Please continue to follow CDC guidelines.