Region posts strong jobs gains before impact of COVID-19 hits

OCALA, Fla. (March 27, 2020) – The unemployment rate in the CareerSource Citrus Levy Marion region was 3.9 percent in February, down 0.2 percentage point over the month and 0.5 percentage point lower than the region’s rate a year ago.

The labor force was 203,400, up 2,417 over the year. There were 195,387 employed, an increase of 3,153 compared to February 2019, and 8,013 unemployed, a drop of 736, when the region’s jobless rate was 4.4 percent. Compared to January’s numbers, there were 1,192 more jobs and 283 fewer jobless.

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Update on Citrus County essential services as of Friday

New information in RED below:

Citrus County Government remains open to serve our citizens. There may be limited access to building lobbies for the protection of citizens and employees. Services continue to be available by phone, email or mail.

Animal Services – mandating all volunteers to not come to the shelter beginning Wednesday, March 25 until further notice. We are currently delaying the intake of owner-surrendered animals to ensure we have kennel space. For more information phone (352)746-8400 or visit: For those who need to renew or purchase a County Pet License, we ask for you to either do so online at

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First Citrus County death from COVID-19 announced

An 80-year-old Citrus County resident diagnosed with COVID-19 passed away today.

This is the first COVID-19 death in Citrus County.

We are expressing our condolences to the person’s family and will continue to work with the Florida Department of Health (DOH) and our community partners to prevent the spread of COVID-19.

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Argument leads to shooting in Beverly HIlls

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Shortly before 8 a.m. today, Deputies with the Citrus County Sheriff’s Office responded to a Beverly Hills neighborhood in response to shots fired.

Upon arrival, deputies made contact with witnesses and the 62-year-old shooter.

The witnesses said that the shooter was engaged in an argument with the victim, a 32-year-old resident of the neighborhood. As the incident escalated the shooter fired a weapon at the victim, hitting him in the chest.

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Sheriff’s Office updates Saturday night shooting incident: 1 dead, 1 injured

Citrus County Sheriff’s Office deputies responded to a residence in the area of West Alamo Drive in Beverly Hills in reference to a shooting.

One individual inside the residence was shot, with another armed and barricaded subject still inside of the home.

Two witnesses to the event had already left the residence and made their way to the safety of the deputies on scene.  The shooting victim eventually made his way out of the home and received treatment first by two CCSO deputies on scene, then EMS before transport.

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Fort Island Gulf Beach closed – additional safety measures taken

Due to the COVID-19 virus, in an abundance of caution, Citrus County Parks and Recreation reminds everyone that Fort Island Gulf Beach remains closed until further notice.

The Fort Island Gulf Beach Boat Ramp will remain open to the public.  All restrooms are closed to the public.

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CCSO updates its app with COVID-19 link

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Citrus County Sheriff Mike Prendergast on March 19 announced a major upgrade to the Citrus County Sheriff’s App, offering broadcasts of COVID-19 alerts from the Centers for Disease Control (CDC).

The Citrus County Sheriff’s Office is offering this feature as an additional measure to protect public health and assist the public in receiving timely and accurate information regarding COVID-19.

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County government buildings remain open

Citrus County Government buildings remain open at this time, although services may be altered, modified or temporarily unavailable.

Please note all library branches have shifted to limited access, with drop-off of library materials and pick-up of pre-requested materials ONLY.

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Animal Services updates

Due to unexpected shortage in medical and surgical supplies during the national response to COVID-19 pandemic, Citrus County Animal Services, unfortunately, has to suspend its TNVR program and is unable to take in community cats at this time.

It is recommended that healthy cats found outside are left alone until animal services able to start performing surgeries again. Nationally, only 2% of cats are picked up by their owners when they end up in shelters, whereas — make it back home when left in their community.

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CFWI draft 2020 Regional Water Supply Plan available for review, comment

The Central Florida Water Initiative (CFWI) Draft 2020 Regional Water Supply Plan (RWSP) is now available on the CFWI website for review and comment by stakeholders and the public.

The plan identifies existing and projected water needs as well as projects and funding sources to meet those needs in the CFWI Planning Area over the next 20 years.

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