JACKSONVILLE, Fla. — On Wednesday, Clay County officials announced that they will be postponing graduation for high school seniors from May to July, but a specific date hasn't been set.
"We believe it is important to have a traditional graduation ceremony," one official said. He added that the ceremony will have to follow CDC guidelines and regulations that are in place at that time.
They added that students are expected to finish the school year through online distance learning.
Additionally, officials are hoping they will be able to reopen the county soon, but "it's not going to be flip a switch and happen at once."
Officials said trends are showing that the county is flattening the curve thanks to social distancing and that Clay wasn't hit as bad as health officials projected.
When Clay County does reopen, officials believe there is going to be "a new norm," which will involve keeping small gatherings and special precautions when residents are out.
As of 1 p.m. Wednesday, Clay County has seen 257 cases and 11 deaths, a total of a 4 percent mortality rate. More than 3,000 people have been tested and more than 2,800 of those tests have come back negative.
Officials added that there shouldn't be anymore residents in need for food, but if there are, you're urged to call 877-252-9362 to get assistance in attaining food, whether it be picking up at a food back or delivery.
Last week, Emergency Manager John Ward addressed some concerns with their local nursing home facilities. He said they do have positive cases of some senior residents in long-term homes, but out of privacy for the families, they are not disclosing the location of the facility or the names of the patients.
Ward said he was contacted by the Health Department to discuss "setting a goal" of getting back to some normalcy, so they plan to hold a big public barbecue for the public on Memorial Day.
For any more changes, information or updates to go to www.alert.claycountygov.com