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Fleming Island Long-Term Facility Is Latest In Clay With Confirmed COVID-19 Case

Press conference, Clay County Emergency Management Director John Ward at the podium with an interpreter, Clay County logo in the background, along with the Florida flag and U.S. flag
Via Clay County Emergency Management Facebook
Clay County Emergency Management Director John Ward said the county is working with the Governor on a reopening plan.

At a Wednesday Clay County news conference, officials announced that seven of the 28 long-term facilities in the county now have confirmed COVID-19 cases. 

Allegro, an assisted living facility in Fleming Island, is the latest to have someone test positive.

Clay County Emergency Management Director John Ward said the county, along with all others in the state, will not be releasing how many cases are at each facility.

“We don't see the value and telling you if it's one case or three at this point, it's not going to change your situation,” said Florida Department of Health Administrator Heather Huffman. 

Clay County has the sixth most cases at long-term facilities in the state with 117, including six deaths.

Ward also detailed more about the state incident management team that is helping long-term facilities in 13 counties in North Florida, from Nassau County down to Ocala’s Marion County. The personnel on the team are debriefed at the Clay County Emergency Operations Center, then sent over to other counties. 

Related: Local, State, And National Coronavirus Coverage

“None of the medical teams are currently in Clay County,” Ward said. “As far as working that, we were fortunate we got those resources early on,” adding, “now they're out in the other counties,  kind of replicating what they've been doing.”

Ward also said he is working with Gov. Ron DeSantis’ office to develop a reopening plan. 

Meanwhile, Clay County Superintendent David Broskie said an in-person graduation for high school seniors is moving from its original date of May 29 to sometime in July. An exact date will be released later.

“We've overwhelmingly heard from the class of 2020 as well as parents and the community itself, and so we will have a traditional graduation ceremony,” Broskie said.

There will also be a change in the way grading works for students in the fourth quarter of the school year. The school board is recommending to teachers that student’s grades should not be lower than the average of the grade they received in the previous three quarters, before the COVID-19 pandemic. 

“We do believe in grace and compassion,” Broskie said. “Every student learns differently. And now we've thrust all of these learners into a different environment. We've also thrust a group of parents into a whole different environment, too.”

Broskie said the school board is working with the emergency management department and health department to find ways for students to safely bring back textbooks and other school-owned equipment.

Sky Lebron can be reached at, 904-358-6319 or on Twitter at@SkylerLebron.

Former WJCT News reporter