Good Monday morning! Here’s hoping all you dads out there had a wonderful Father’s Day. Here are the 5 Things You Need To Know in and around Osceola County:
1. There’s a new COVID-19 testing facility opening Tuesday near Poinciana.
Over the weekend Osceola County became the 17th Florida county to record its 1,000th COVID-19 case. The count is now at 1,052 cases and 23 fatalities as the number of positive cases confirmed by the Florida Department of Health has dramatically increased over the last few days. Governor Ron DeSantis held a briefing on Saturday and said what is considered a positive case now is broader than what it was in March, including those who tested positive for antibodies but never had symptoms. He also said that many of the new cases are in the 20 to 34 age range who will likely never need hospitalization.
Osceola County continues to perform over a couple thousand tests per week, and the county’s Department of Health has added another pharmacy location, at Sunrise Pharmacy at 4543 Pleasant Hill
Road near Poinciana Boulevard, where you can get tested for free without showing any symptoms.
Tests will be done Tuesdays through Thursdays from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. You must have an appointment; to get one call 407-343-4434.
This is in addition to Prescriptions Unlimited on 13th Street in St. Cloud, which doesn’t require appointments, Tuesdays and Thursdays at the Osceola Community Health Services locations in Poinciana and Kissimmee, and at the Health Department on Mondays and Fridays. Check Positively Osceola dot com or our Facebook page on details for making appointments there.
2. Here’s when certain Disney ticket holders can start making reservations for its re-opening in July.
When the Disney World Parks open starting July 11, you’ll need to make a reservation ahead of time for the day you want to go, so the parks can manage their limited capacity. Some of you will be able to make those reservations as soon as this week.
The Disney Park Pass system will open to guests in phases, beginning with those with future Disney
Resort and other select hotel stays. Beginning today, Disney will reach out to existing resort and hotel guests with valid park admissions. On Friday, Annual Passholders without resort stays can make park reservations, and starting Sunday, existing ticket holders can make reservations.
Guests will be able to view park reservation availability on DisneyWorld.com prior to purchasing their tickets. At this time, Guests will be able to select one park per day; Park-hopping isn’t available for Disney’s initial opening phase.
3. Osceola County’s unemployment figures went up again in May, but there’s help on the way for some residents and business owners.
Even though businesses are slowly re-opening around the area and state, and furloughed employees are getting back into the employment world, Florida’s — and Osceola’s — employment statistics are still showing we have a ways to go before we are back to pre-COVID-19 levels.
Central Florida communities rely heavily on the tourism and hospitality industries, and with all of the major theme parks still closed in May, Osceola County measured in with the state’s highest
unemployment rate: 31.1 percent. Orange County came in at 23.2 percent. The metropolitan statistical area that includes Orlando, Kissimmee and Sanford had the biggest increase in unemployment, jumping from 16.8 percent in April to 22.6 percent in May.
For many of those unemployed in Osceola County, assistance may be soon on the way. A payment of $16.3 million from the federal CARES Act was finally dispersed, and county commissioners will discuss the best way to use it at an emergency commission meeting today at 1:30 p.m.
4. St. Cloud to conduct prescribed burn at Lakefront starting Monday June 22
The City of St. Cloud will be conducting a prescribed burn of dead aquatic vegetation resulting from a recent aerial herbicide treatment performed along retention berms at Lakefront Park.
The prescribed burn is phase two of the City’s project to enhance and protect the fish and wildlife habitat that has degraded over decades. The area spans 56 acres.
Work will begin on Monday, June 22, 2020. During this period, the walking trail along Lakeshore Boulevard, the retention berms, fishing pier, boat ramp and Dan Terell Memorial point will be closed. As before, weather conditions could affect the scheduled time and date for this work to be performed.
For more information, please contact: Stephanie Holtkamp, Director Parks and Recreation at 407-957-7246.
5. Osceola County Residents plan accordingly – as two areas in Osceola County will experience temporary road closures due to construction
The first of the two is Old Tampa Highway which will be closed to traffic between Broad St. and Jack Calhoun Dr. for 10 days beginning today, Monday June 22 with an expected reopening date of Friday July 3.
The closure will focus on the building of barrier walls allowing for the reconstruction of Old Tampa Highway to be done in a more safe and efficient manner, also preventing the need for an additional 4 weeks of closure of the road.
Suggested alternate routes to use during the closure are U.S 17-92 and U.S 192, or follow the detour signs to alternate routes prior to the construction area.
Dates and times are subject to change depending on weather and any day to day circumstances that may delay the process of construction.
The 2nd of the temporary road closures will be a Celebration Boulevard Resurfacing
From Thursday, June 25 through Friday, July 17, expect traffic delays from 1390 Celebration Boulevard west to Thoreau Drive.
The road is tentatively scheduled to be resurfaced and temporary lane closures can be expected, but the road will not close. Road work will occur from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. however, schedules may vary depending on weather or equipment-related issues.
Drive safely and look out for road work personnel while on the road.
For more information on these road closures visit osceola.org
And now for the weather… Just like Sunday we’re on our way back to a high in the low to mid-90s, with heat indexes close to 100 by mid-afternoon. The only saving grace will be possible late afternoon or evening storms, which will be hit or miss. There’s a 40 percent chance of rain, which will increase slightly as we work into the week.