COVID-19 Information

Coronavirus update

COVID-19 vaccine information

Click here.

Daily COVID-19 statistics have ended

The Florida Department of Health has ceased publishing its daily COVID-19 reports that we have been using to track changes in the number of coronavirus cases and deaths in the state. The change was effective Friday, June 4, 2021, and because of this, Highlands County will no longer be providing updates via Alert Highlands.

If you are interested, the state will be providing a weekly report on Fridays detailing COVID-19 case and vaccine reporting. Follow this link >>

A message from the Highlands County Emergency Operations Center: Please continue to observe social distancing and wash your hands frequently. If you are experiencing symptoms of COVID-19, call your local primary care physician. If you do not have a local primary care physician, call the local Department of Health at 863-386-6040 or Central Florida Health Care at 863-452-3000. Once you have been tested, please self-monitor and self-isolate until you receive your test results.

For general questions about COVID-19, please call 1-866-779-6121 or visit
The call center is available 24 hours a day, seven days a week.

MENTAL HEALTH - Florida Disaster Relief Chaplains are available from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. EDT daily to provide emotional and spiritual care. Call 888-829-5004.
For a list of mental health resources: Click here

The state's Phase 3: Safe. Smart. Step-by-Step Plan for Florida's Recovery went into effect Sept. 25, 2020.

These are the basics of Executive Order 20-244:
Right to work and operate a business:
No COVID-19 emergency ordinance may prevent an individual from working or from operating a business.

Restaurants: Restaurants may not be limited by a COVID-19 emergency order by any local government to less than 50% of their indoor capacity.

Suspension of COVID-19-related individual fines and penalties: This order suspends the collection of fines and penalties associated with COVID-19 enforced upon individuals.

Vulnerable individuals should continue to stay home. When outside the home, they should avoid close contact with people.
Avoid socializing in groups of more than 50 people in circumstances that do not readily allow for physical distancing.
Face masks are recommended for all those in face-to-face interactions and where you can't social distance.
Visits to senior living facilities are prohibited.

To view the latest updates in reference to COVID-19, please click in the links below:

In early April 2021, FEMA will begin providing financial assistance for funeral expenses incurred after Jan. 20, 2020 for deaths related to COVID-19. For more more information: Click here

Florida Department of Health Information: Click here

Highlands County news releases: Click here

Executive Order 20-91: Click here

Executive Order 20-139: Click here

For a comprehensive list of essential businesses: Click here

Frequently Asked Questions: Click here

Community resources: is a great way to find resources in our community.
Put in your zip code to find a list of local resources, from food, medical care, housing and more. Click here

Support for families - Resource list: Click here

Feeding resources in Highlands County: Click here

For a list of local social service agencies: Click here

Assistance programs available for small business owners and individuals: Click here

Helping Children Cope with COVID-19 Click here

Short Term Vacation Rental Safety Plan Click Here

Other creditable sources to follow:

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC): Click here

World Health Organization (WHO): Click here

COVID-19 testing

Free COVID-19 testing is available at the Highlands County health department.
You must register for testing by calling 863-382-7260 or 863-382-7270 during business hours, which are 8 a.m. to 5 p.m., Monday through Friday.
Testing is by appointment only.
Those who are homebound/transportation disadvantaged should call 833-930-3672 or email
Testing is free, no insurance or prescription is required.

Many local pharmacies, physician offices, and urgent care facilities also offer testing.

If you feel you have symptoms of COVID-19, please call the health department at 863-386-6040 or your primary care physician to be tested as soon as possible.