Dear Lake County residents:
I wanted to let you know that we will be launching several new efforts in the coming days to help our residents and businesses as we navigate 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. 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 (www.lakecountyfl.gov) details ongoing efforts to meet the needs of our residents. Here is a preview of some of our “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. 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 (352-742-4830) and at the State’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. Specific details regarding drive-thru locations and hours of operation will be published in the next few days.
Second, to assist those residents having difficulty submitting unemployment applications, we will be announcing additional locations where residents can obtain and fill out paper forms for state unemployment benefits in order to speed up that 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.
I hope that you will watch for these upcoming announcements and press releases and share this information with family and friends. 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.
Thank you and God Bless You,
Leslie Campione, Chairman
Lake County Board of County Commissioners