This is Marcia Lane, your roving reporter.
Flagler County had its first confirmed death from coronavirus Wednesday. Dorothy Strickland, 70, was a longtime hair stylist who owned Strictly Dorothy and Friends in Miami before moving to Flagler Beach several years ago where she and her husband, Carey, have owned a home for some 20 years. On March 16 she developed a fever. Because she had asthma she went to be tested but the health department told her she didn’t meet criteria, a friend told FlaglerLive. She was tested at Flagler Hospital in St. Augustine March 19 and ended up at Halifax hospital March 21. She died Wednesday. Her husband of 32 years has tested positive for the virus. Flagler has 19 cases of the virus.
Putnam County has its 14th confirmed case of coronavirus. Florida Department of Health announced a 54-year-old man who lives in Palatka is the latest person to test positive.
Palatka Blue Crab Festival won’t be happening Memorial Day Weekend. Palatka Young Professionals, who took over the festival last year, voted Wednesday to move the festival to Labor Day weekend, Sept. 4-6. They cited health concerns adding they also wanted to ensure the safety of the festival’s future. Designs for festival T-shirts have just been released.
St. Johns County normally would be holding the Blessing of the Fleet this weekend as part of Palm Sunday ceremonies. That’s canceled as are changing of the Royal Family ceremonies, knighting ceremonies and all Easter weekend plans including the Easter parade and promenade downtown. On March 12 City Manager John Regan began shutting down festivals with the Celtic Festival the first to be closed. Complaints were heard then but in hindsight the decision is drawing praise. Part of that’s based on New Orleans having an outbreak of coronavirus cases that many trace back to the huge crowds at Mardi Gras.
Flagler County Sheriff’s Office is warning people of a new scam where residents get calls from someone claiming to be from AdventHealth and asking them if they want a nurse to come to the home and test for the virus. AdventHealth isn’t offering such a service. The caller is “someone with a language barrier,” according to the Sheriff’s Office. If someone comes to your door dressed as a nurse and isn’t expected, call the Sheriff’s Office. Sheriff Rick Staly advices people getting calls from anyone offering to come test at their home to hang up. “It is really unfortunate but there are people out there who are trying to take advantage of this pandemic,” he said.
As of 12:01 Friday morning stricter rules take effect for which businesses can be open and who can go out in Florida based on an executive order by Gov. Ron DeSantis. Officials say they’re still trying to wrap their heads around the implications of the order that requires all Floridians to shelter at home except for essential services. People can still go out for services such as groceries, gas, medical services and food.
A Ponte Vedra family is seeking information about a hit-and-run driver that resulted in with broken bones and fractures to a bicyclist. The accident happened March 26 about 2 p.m. on A1A approximately 2.5 miles south of Mickler’s Landing. Greg Helms, 48, was bicycling when a truck described as a white 2016 to 2018 Chevrolet Silverado 1500 struck him and then took off.
Victory Christian Church in East Palatka will be holding a drive thru food pantry Friday at 10:30 a.m. The pantry will be at the parking lot of the church on U.S. 17.
Getting a little bored and want to meet someone new? Animal control in Putnam, Flagler and St. Johns counties may be able to help you as will the S.A.F.E. Rescue program in Putnam and St. Johns. S.A.F.E. reports they have more than 90 dogs/pups and more than 65 cats/kittens they’re caring for and need owners, foster carers and