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The Florida Department of Health works to protect, promote & improve the health of all people in Florida through integrated state, county & community efforts.

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By Audrey Stasko, Public Information Officer

June 10, 2021

Citrus County’s only Special Needs Shelter, which houses individuals with special and minimal medical needs during a severe weather emergency, is temporarily relocating to the Renaissance Center, located at 3630 W. Educational Path in Lecanto, effective immediately.

Moving the Special Needs Shelter will allow Citrus County Schools to complete a necessary fire alarm system upgrade in Forest Ridge Elementary School, the pervious location of the Special Needs Shelter. The facility will be out of service until next school year and the Florida Department of Health in Citrus County (DOH-Citrus) and Citrus County Sheriff’s Office Emergency Operations Division will use the Renaissance Center as the temporary Special Needs Shelter until then.

The Special Needs Shelter is operated and staffed by DOH-Citrus, Citrus County Schools, County Government and Emergency Management employees, and is designed to meet the needs of individuals who are oxygen dependent, have mobility issues and other physical, mental and cognitive impairments, and have no other evacuation option.

To streamline the registration process and ensure a smooth transition to the temporary location, DOH-Citrus is asking residents who are medically stable but need help with basic tasks or use an electronic medical device and have no other evacuation option to pre-register for the Special Needs Shelter by filling out the Voluntary Special Needs Program Registration found on the Citrus County Sheriff’s Office website.

Pre-registration also helps to identify a person’s disability, plus the special equipment or specific assistance needed during an evacuation. This includes transportation to a family member’s or friend’s house (within the county) or to the Special Needs Shelter if you have no other sheltering option. Special Needs Shelter registrants are allowed to bring their pets to the temporary location.

As a reminder, the Special Needs Shelter should be a last resort especially because of COVID-19.

For more information or assistance, call the Citrus County Sheriff’s Office Emergency Operations Division at 352-249-2700 or the Florida Department of Health in Citrus County at 352-527-0068.

For more information about DOH-Citrus, go to or follow us on Twitter at @FLHealthCitrus.