In a news release issued Monday night, Lake County Board of County Commissioners Chairman Leslie Campione announced Lake County will be launching several new efforts to help residents and businesses as the county navigates the COVID-19 situation.
“Your leaders in Lake County are grounded in facts and we meticulously examine data daily as we formulate policies to protect the health and economic viability of our residents,” Leslie says in the release. “We continue to work closely with the Health Department, local hospitals, municipalities, surrounding counties, first responders, essential service providers, and many other stakeholders. The county’s website lakecountyfl.gov details ongoing efforts to meet the needs of our residents.”
She listed a preview of the county’s next steps:
“First, we are in the process of partnering with a private health provider to increase testing opportunities for all residents whether they have symptoms or not. We expect to have three drive-thru locations open by Wednesday ( April 22) in each region of our county, where Lake County residents can be tested at a cost of $20,” she says, adding these sites will also offer antibody testing for those willing to pay for this service. There will continue to be free testing provided by the Health Department, which can be contacted at 352.742,4830, and at Florida’s regional test site located at the Orange County Convention Center.
“We urge residents to call their own doctor to obtain testing if their doctor has testing available,” Leslie says, adding specific details regarding drive-thru locations and hours of operation will be announced in the next few days.
Second, to assist those residents having difficulty submitting unemployment applications, Leslie says the county will have additional locations where residents can obtain and fill out paper forms for state unemployment benefits in order to speed up the process.
“Third, we will be launching an online questionnaire for local businesses as we seek to help them prepare for ‘next steps’ so they can safely reopen their doors once our Governor lifts Florida’s stay-at-home order. We urge businesses to respond to the online questionnaire so we can assess their financial situation, understand supply chain impacts on their particular business, communicate their experiences with state and federal leaders who oversee relief programs, exchange information and share best practices, and identify ways we can assist them as they implement protective measures to address the safety of their employees and customers,” says Leslie.
The county chairman adds: “Through enhanced testing opportunities and ongoing diligence, we will be that much closer to a time when we can return to the lifestyle we love and enjoy in Lake County. I urge everyone to continue following CDC guidelines and if you are in a high-risk category or live with someone in a high-risk category, we urge you to avoid public spaces where you might contract the COVID-19 virus.”