Latest news is displayed first.
For resources and information on the Coronavirus, visit www.ocfl.net/Coronavirus.
Key Takeaways: Orange County News Conference 5/28/2020
Orange County currently has a 2.8% COVID-19 positivity rate and the County’s coronavirus recovery rate remains around 87%. Please continue to protect yourself and pay special attention to those 65 and older to ensure their safety and health.
Orange County small businesses can visit ocfl.net/OrangeCares on June 1, 2020 for a list of eligibility criteria and required documents necessary to apply and qualify for the upcoming Orange CARES Small Business Grant Program. The applications for the program will open on June 8, 2020. Information about the resident assistance program will be available soon.
NEXT WEEK: FREE PPE FOR BUSINESSES
On Wednesday June 3 and Thursday June 4, Orange County small businesses will have the opportunity to pick up free reusable cloth masks as well as hand sanitizers. This effort continues Orange County’s PPE initiative to serve businesses, residents and social service organizations.
Orange County Health Services will expand free COVID-19 testing sites beginning June 1, 2020 at Apopka High School, and on June 8, 2020 at Ventura Elementary School in Orlando. Any resident who makes an appointment will receive a free packet of face masks and hand sanitizer.
- Apopka High School – Opens JUNE 1
To schedule an appointment, visit, ocfl.net/ApopkaHighSchool
- Ventura Elementary School – Opens JUNE 8
To schedule an appointment, visit, ocfl.net/VenturaElementary
So far, the Orange County Convention Center’s state-run drive-through testing site has administered a total of 20,588 tests. This is also a free site and you do not have to have any symptoms to be tested.
For more information on these and other testing sites in Orange County, visit, ocfl.net/covid19.
CONSUMER CONFIDENCE SURVEY RESULTS
The results of Orange County’s Consumer Confidence Survey are in and results can be found at ocfl.net/EconomicRecovery. More than 15,000 people responded to the survey.
Among the key findings:
- 64% of consumers are concerned or very concerned about businesses enforcing social distancing guidelines and other COVID health protocols
- 69% of consumers say they are more likely to patronize a business that requires its employees to wear facemasks.
TAX-FREE DATES FOR HURRICANE PREP
The 2020 Disaster Preparedness Sales Tax Holiday begins tomorrow, May 29 to June 4.
It is a good time to stock up on items you may need to fill out your preparedness kits.
For information, visit ocfl.net/storm.
Key Takeaways: Orange County News Conference 5/26/2020
Orange County now has 320 positive COVID-19 cases in the past two weeks. In total, the County has 1,849 positive COVID-19 cases for residents with a recovery rate of about 87%. Orange County has tested more than 56,000 individuals with a positivity rate of 2.8%. Statewide the COVID-19 positivity rate is 5.7%.
GOALS FOR THE WEEK
Orange County Mayor Jerry L. Demings shared the following goals for this week:
- Prevent the spread of coronavirus in Orange County.
- Define the process for local businesses, individuals, families and social service organizations to access CARES Act funding.
- Continue to re-open tourism businesses in Orange County.
Many residents are rent-stressed and Orange County is working hard to provide programs and assistance.
In order to help our residents navigate tenant rights, evictions and other housing assistance information, we have put together some answers to frequently asked questions on these topics.
Visit ocfl.net/HousingFAQs to access frequently asked questions.
ORANGE COUNTY ECONOMIC RECOVERY TASK FORCE
The Orange County Economic Recovery Task Force will meet tomorrow on Wednesday, May 27, 2020 from 10 a.m. to 12 p.m.
Walt Disney World and Sea World will come before the Economic Recovery Task Force to share their reopening plans for review.
In addition, Orange County had a total of 15,317 responses to the Consumer Confidence Survey. Our team is reviewing results and will provide a summary at the Economic Task Force meeting.
Please tune in to the Orange County Economic Task on Orange TV at www.ocfl.net/OrangeTV.
SMALL BUSINGESS GRANT PROGRAM
This week, Orange County will be sharing information about the Orange CARES Small Business Grant Program. Information will be shared soon at ocfl.net/OrangeCares. Small businesses will be able to see if they are eligible and be able to get together the necessary documents to submit the application once it opens up in early June.
PPE FOR THE COMMUNITY
For information about personal protective equipment (PPE) available for residents and the community, visit www.ocfl.net/PPE. The County will distribute PPE to faith-based houses of worship this Friday, May 29. Information will be posted on the webpage Wednesday for online appointments for pick up.
COVID-19 UPDATED STATS
According to the Florida Department of Health in Orange County:
- There are currently 280 COVID-19 active cases (total since tracking 1,744). The number of residents who lost their lives in Orange County to COVID-19 remains at 38.
- To view a heat map showing COVID-19 cases in Orange County over the past 14 days, visit: www.ocfl.net/covid19HeatMap.
TOURISM: PHASED RE-OPENING
Based on recommendations from Orange County’s Economic Recovery Task Force, Orange County Mayor Jerry Demings sent a letter to Governor Ron DeSantis today endorsing Universal Orlando’s phased-approach plan to re-open its theme parks beginning June 1, 2020.
Mayor Demings has also sent endorsement letters to the Governor, asking him to approve the re-opening of 12 small, local attractions in the County. For detailed information, visit Orange County Government’s Newsroom.
YOUTH SUMMER ACTIVITIES
Governor DeSantis announced Friday, May 22, 2020, that all youth activities, including summer camps and athletics, would be allowed to reopen statewide.
All boat ramps in Orange County are now open. Orange County Parks & Recreation has not yet announced full re-opening and is currently evaluating plans.
PPE DISTRIBUTION NUMBERS
Thanks to the PPE for Small Biz in Orange County Initiative, 15,000 small businesses in Orange County were able to receive 2.2 million face masks and 280,000 bottles of hand sanitizers.
More information about Orange County’s PPE distribution in the community can be found on Orange County’s Newsroom.
More than 60,000 Orange County residents have been tested for COVID-19. Of those tested, 2.9% have tested positive for the virus.
For the past two weeks, Orange County Health Services has been offering free COVID-19 tests to residents without symptoms. In total, 4,800 tests have been administered. Next week, the team will continue offering free COVID-19 tests at Mid-Florida Tech, May 16 – May 28. Make an online appointment at www.ocfl.net/MidFloridaTech. Free PPE will also be given to anyone tested.
The City of Orlando is also continuing to expand COVID-19 testing sites – rotating them through Orlando neighborhoods.
Upcoming testing in the City of Orlando includes:
- Smith Neighborhood Center Parking Lot on May 26
- The Beardall Senior Center Parking Lot on May 28
- Rosemont Community Center Parking Lot on June 2
Visit www.orlando.gov/covid19 for information.
In addition, two Walmart parking lot testing sites are expanding their hours in Orange County from 7 a.m. to 10 a.m. For the latest on all testing information, visit www.ocfl.net/coronavirus.
The City of Orlando’s Downtown Development Board has partnered with Uber Eats to launch “Order Up Downtown.”
This program launches on Memorial Day and will run through June 30. The program waives delivery fees, and provides $10 off for first-time orders.
Orange County and Visit Orlando also encourages residents to order in or go out and continue to support #407 Days that back our local restaurants
Key Takeaways: Orange County News Conference 5/20/2020
COVID-19 UPDATED STATS
According to the Florida Department of Health in Orange County:
- There have been 58,101 tested for COVID-19 tested. Of those tested, 56,336 individuals came back with negative test results, which equals a 2.9% positive rate for Orange County.
- Since April 22, 2020, there have been 294 hospitalizations of residents. Orange County has an 88% recovery rate.
- The County now has a total 1,708 COVID-19 cases. The number of residents who lost their lives in Orange County to COVID-19 remains at 38.
An updated heat map that only shows COVID-19 cases in Orange County over the past two weeks can be accessed at www.ocfl.net/covid19HeatMap.
CARES ACT FUNDING BREAKDOWN
The Orange County Board of County Commissioners voted unanimously on May 19, 2020 to make the $243 million dollar CARES Act funding available to financially vulnerable segments of our community. The CARES Act funding breakdown for Orange County is as follows:
|Small Business Financial Assistance||$72.9 Million||30%|
|Social Services and Community Needs||$72.9 Million||30%|
|Orange County Public Safety and Health Expenditures||$48.6 Million||20%|
|Municipality and Constitutional Officer Expenditures||$24.3 Million||10%|
|Replenishment Account||$24.5 Million||10%|
At least half of the funding will be in the hands of small businesses and individuals who need a gap filled between unemployment benefits and other social service benefits.
Information about the programs will be on Orange County’s webpage soon at www.ocfl.net/OrangeCARES.The County hopes to launch the programs by the beginning of June.
ANIMAL SERVICES ADOPTIONS
Effective Friday, May 22, Orange County Animal Services is reopening via appointment-based system. In order to adopt a pet, reclaim a pet, or surrender a pet to the shelter, an online appointment will be required. To make an appointment, please visit the appointment booking system. For additional information on Animal Services programs, visit www.ocnetpets.com
The shelter is also continuing to offer virtual adoptions for a select number of pets. To view the pets available for virtual adoption, visit the shelter’s Facebook page.
MENTAL HEALTH MONTH
The Orange County Clerk of the Courts is offering a free webinar as part of supporting Mental Health Month.
What: Mental Health Webinar by Orange County Clerk of Courts
When: Thursday, May 21, 2020 4:30 p.m. to 6 p.m.
For more information on the webinar, visit www.myorangeclerk.com
The next full Orange County Economic Recovery Task Force will be held on May 21, 2020 at 2 p.m. It will stream live on Orange TV at www.ocfl.net/OrangeTV.
Take Orange County’s Consumer Confidence Survey at www.ocfl.net/ConsumerSurvey. More than 12,000 residents have already responded and the County will be closing the survey soon.
Key Takeaways: Orange County News Conference 5/18/2020
Orange County now has 1,679 COVID-19 cases. The number of Orange County residents who lost their lives in Orange County to COVID-19 remains at 38. In total, the County has tested more than 49,500 residents.
Orange County Mayor Demings stated the following goals for the week:
- Continue to distribute PPE to small businesses
- Utilize Orange County Fire Rescue to distribute PPE to vulnerable residents
- Expand COVID-19 testing to Orange County residents
- Provide clarity from the Economic Recovery Task Force on reopening Orange County’s smaller attractions.
COVID-19 Testing Sites
Orange County Health Services will open a new COVID-19 testing site at Riverside Elementary. This location will open Tuesday, May 19, 2020 and continue to provide testing through Thursday, May 21, 2020. Beginning Tuesday, May 26, 2020 through Thursday, May 28, 2020, an additional COVID-19 testing site will open at the Orange Technical College – Mid Florida Campus.
Free Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) will be given to residents who are tested at an Orange County Health Services site.
Visit www.ocfl.net/coronavirus for more details or to learn about other testing sites
PPE Distribution for Small Businesses Extended
Just last week, the PPE for Small Biz in Orange County initiative distributed more than 1.7 million face masks and 200,000 bottles of hand sanitizers to more than 11,000 small businesses in Orange County.
Additional kits are available for small businesses on May 20 and registration is available at www.ocfl.net/PPE.
Orange County Fire Rescue’s “Leave Behind” Program
Orange County Fire Rescue has started its “Leave Behind” program for Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) to residents. When on the scene of any incident, fire personnel will ask residents if they require masks or hand sanitizer. If the resident wants PPE, then they will be given some, free of charge. Fire Rescue has also partnered with city municipalities to provide them with PPE so other fire departments can offer this service.
Orange County Consumer Confidence Survey
More than 10,000 residents have already taken the Business Consumer Confidence Survey put out by the Orange County Economic Recovery Task Force. Take the short survey at www.ocfl.net/ConsumerSurvey.
Key Takeaways: Orange County News Conference 5/15/2020
Orange County now has 1,619 COVID-19 cases. The number of Orange County residents who lost their lives to COVID-19 remains at 36. In total, the County has tested more than 40,500 residents with a positive rate of 3.9% for COVID-19.
Governor Updates & Moratorium on Evictions Extended
Florida Governor DeSantis recently announced that a “full Phase One” will begin on Monday, May 18. Restaurants, retail shops, museums and libraries will be allowed to operate at 50 percent capacity. Gyms and fitness centers will also be allowed to reopen.
In addition, the Governor extended the moratorium on evictions until June 2, 2020. It was previously set to end on May 17, 2020. The moratorium temporarily suspends all evictions and foreclosures for non-payment related to COVID-19.
PPE Distribution for Small Businesses Extended
Just this week, the PPE for Small Biz in Orange County initiative distributed more than 1.7 million face masks and 200,000 bottles of hand sanitizers to more than 11,000 small businesses in Orange County. Due to high demand and an overwhelming positive response, Orange County will extend PPE (personal protective equipment) distribution for a limited time.
Additional kits will be available on Tuesday, May 19 and Wednesday, May 20 at two pick-up sites:
Three Points Elementary School
4001 S Goldenrod Rd
Orlando, FL 32822
Orlando Technical College’s Mid-Florida Campus
2900 W Oak Ridge Rd
Orlando, FL 32809
Operating hours will be from 9:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Businesses must still pre-register by submitting an interest form at www.ocfl.net/PPE and have an appointment at one of the pick-up sites. Those who are eligible must be an Orange County small business, with one to no more than 40 employees, and be for-profit or non-profit. For more information, visit www.ocfl.net/PPE.
COVID-19 Testing Site Expansions
Next week, Orange County Health Services will open a new COVID-19 testing site at Riverside Elementary. This location will open Tuesday, May 19, 2020 and continue to provide testing through Thursday, May 21, 2020. Beginning Tuesday, May 26, 2020 through Thursday, May 28, 2020, an additional COVID-19 testing site will open at the Orange Technical College – Mid Florida Campus.
In addition, the Florida Department of Health in Orange County will offer testing next week at the following locations:
Monday, May 18, 2020 Barnett Park
4801 W. Colonial Drive, Orlando
Tuesday, May 19, 2020 – Ocoee High School
1925 Ocoee Crown Point Parkway, Ocoee
Wednesday, May 20, 2020 – Camping World Stadium
1 Citrus Bowl Place, Orlando
Thursday, May 21, 2020 – Cypress Creek High School
1101 Bear Crossing Drive, Orlando
Visit www.ocfl.net/coronavirus for more details.
Prepping for Summer: Boat Ramps & Summer Camps
Orange County’s boat ramps, which have been closed due to COVID-19 since March 23, 2020, will reopen on Friday, May 22, 2020. However, social distancing WILL be enforced by the Orange County Sheriff’s Office, and the number of people on the boat ramps will be limited.
Orange County Parks & Recreation Division will be offering summer camps, but on a limited basis to ensure the health and safety of our children. The camps, which will begin June 1, 2020, will follow DCF guidelines for childcare facilities, including reduced capacity to nine children per room, daily temperature checks, etc.
Key Takeaways: Orange County News Conference 5/13/2020
Orange County now has 1,553 COVID-19 cases, an increase of 16 cases since Tuesday, May 12, 2020. In total, the County has tested 39,604 residents with a positive rate of 3.9% for COVID-19.
PPE DISTRIBUTION CONTINUES
Orange County’s Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) distribution continues at all six locations throughout the County until Friday, May 15, 2020.
Since opening on Monday, the County has distributed 750,000 facemasks and 100,000 bottles of hand sanitizers. Approximately 4,500 people who are either self-employed or run a small business have come to the distribution sites. Small business in Orange County can still register for free kits by visiting ocfl.net/PPE.
NEW COVID-19 TESTING SITES IN ORANGE COUNTY
Orange County continues to provide free COVID-19 testing at various locations across the County. The expansion of testing is important to helping us combat COVID-19 and re-opening our community.
Walmart, in partnership with Quest Diagnostics will open two freedrive-thru testing sites in parking lots at Walmart locations on Friday, May 15, 2020. The sites, located at 8101 S. John Young Parkway and 11250 E. Colonial Drive, will be available by appointment only on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays from 7-9 a.m. For testing criteria or to set an appointment, visit MyQuestCOVIDTest.com.
Additionally, Orange County Health Services Department will offerfree COVID-19 testing at Riverside Elementary School beginning on Tuesday, May 19, 2020. For more information and to register for an appointment, please visit ocfl.net/COVID19.
Thanks to Walmart, Quest Diagnostics and Orange County Public Schools for helping bring more testing to Orange County.
ECONOMIC RECOVERY AND CONSUMER CONFIDENCE
Orange County’s Economic Recovery Task Force wants to hear from you.
On Wednesday, May 13, 2020, the County created the Consumer Confidence Survey to gather data from residents about how comfortable they feel patronizing business and restaurants, and opening our local economy during the pandemic. The survey is available in three languages – English, Spanish and Creole.
To take the survey, visit ocfl.net/ConsumerSurvey.
DIGITAL TOWN HALL WITH FAITH LEADERS
The Digital Town Hall with Faith Leaders is scheduled for Thursday, May 14, 2020, from 2-3 p.m. The theme of the Town Hall is “Reopening Houses of Worship: Diverse Conversations and Perspectives.” The Interfaith Council of Central Florida and the African-American Council of Christian Clergy will assist with the Town Hall. Residents can view the Town Hall live on Orange TV.
Key Takeaways: Orange County News Conference 5/11/2020
Orange County now has 1,512 COVID-19 cases, an increase of seven cases since yesterday, May 10, 2020. In total, the County has tested 37,778 residents with a positive rate of 4.0% for COVID-19, and there has been about a 91% recovery rate.
MORE SMALL BUSINESSES NOW QUALIFY FOR FREE PPE
The free PPE for Small Biz in Orange County program has six distribution sites throughout Orange County. This program provides FREE personal protective equipment (PPE) to Orange County small businesses. More than 4,150 businesses have already signed up to pick up PPE for their employees.
The qualifications for Orange County small businesses were modified today – you only need a minimum of one employee and no more than 40 employees to qualify. This expansion helps many sub-contractors, hair salon workers and others in skilled trade industries.
EXPANDING TEST SITES
Orange County Health Services has availability for online appointments for testing at Legacy Middle School. Visit www.ocfl.net/LegacyMiddle to book an appointment.
Two additional testing sites are available through the partnership with the City of Orlando. They are free appointment-only mobile COVID-19 drive-thru & pedestrian-accessible testing sites.
- Thursday, May 14, 2020, 9 a.m. – 1 p.m. – Engelwood Neighborhood Center, 6123 La Costa Drive
- Tuesday, May 19, 2020, 9 a.m. – 1 p.m. – Northwest Community Center, 3955 W D Judge Drive
Find more information at orlando.gov/covid19testing.
The Florida Department of Health in Orange County has openings for appointments for free testing at its sites this week. Call 407-723-5004. They have a capacity for 500 appointments per site.
Visit www.ocfl.net/coronavirus for all options for testing.
TOURIST DEVELOPMENT TAX (TDT) UPDATE
Orange County Comptroller Phil Diamond provided and update on the Tourist Development Tax (TDT) numbers for the month of March 2020. There was $13.6 million collected in TDT, which is a 53.5% decrease compared to March 2019. It is the largest decrease in the history of TDT collection tracking.
FAITH-BASED COMMUNITY TOWN HALL
Orange County will host a virtual Faith-Based Town Hall this Thursday, May 14 from 2 p.m. to 3 p.m. The Town Hall’s title is “Reopening Houses of Worship: Diverse Conversations and Perspectives.” The Interfaith Council of Central Florida and the African-American Council of Christian Clergy will be part of the Town Hall.
The virtual meeting will be carried live on Orange TV at www.ocfl.net/OrangeTV.
SunRail is resuming normal scheduling effective Monday, May 11, 2020. In addition, effective May 11, 2020, LYNX will resume a full service schedule, remaining fare-free throughout May and observing social distancing.
Key Takeaways: Orange County News Conference 5/8/2020
The latest numbers from the Florida Department of Health in Orange County show 1,478 COVID-19 cases and 35 deaths in the County. Our positive rate in the County is relatively low, about 4.3% and we have only seen increases in the single digits for new cases. According to the Department of Health in Orange County, residents have been doing well with tracking and isolating cases.
PERSONAL CARE SERVICES, (hair salons, barbershops, nail salons)
Effective Monday, May 11, 2020, hair salons, barbershops, and nail salons can reopen by the action taken today by Governor DeSantis. There are specific recommendations, including limiting the number of guests and have sanitary practices.
“I am happy to hear this news from the Governor and thank him for a productive discussion on this topic last Saturday with our local business owners,” said Mayor Demings. “This is excellent news for Mother’s Day weekend.”
Effective May 11, 2020 at 5:01 a.m. the curfew for Orange County will expire. Law enforcement will continue to monitor overnight activies. The curfew could be put back into place should a need arise. The curfew has been in effect since March 20, 2020.
PPE FOR SMALL BIZ IN ORANGE COUNTY
Mayor Demings recently announced the launch of PPE for Small Biz in Orange County. This initiative is part of the County’s COVID-19 response through the Orange County Economic Recovery Task Force to help small businesses re-open and provide them PPE, at no charge.
In order to be eligible, small businesses can be either for-profit or non-profit, and they must have the majority of its operations located in Orange County. In addition, they must employ more than three but less than 40 individuals, regardless of full-time or part-time status.
Distribution will begin on Monday, May 11, 2020 from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. and will remain open at the same operating hours until Friday, May 15, 2020, or until supplies run out.
EXPANDING TEST SITES
Due to increased demand, in the East Orange and Winter Park areas, Orange County Health Services is expanding its free COVID-19 testing sites at Legacy Middle School and Lakemont Elementary School.
The Florida Department of Health in Orange County has openings for reservations for free testing at its sites next week as well. Visit www.ocfl.net/coronavirus for options for all testing.
ORANGE COUNTY CLERK’S UPDATE ON MARRIAGE LICENSES
The Orange County Clerk’s Office is now offering marriage licenses by appointment only at the Apopka, Ocoee, Winter Park and downtown Orlando courthouse locations. Applicants must complete the online eMarriage application prior to their appointment. The application can be filled out by visiting myorangeclerk.com.
For now, this is the only service that will be available at these locations. Marriage ceremonies remain suspended until further notice.
Key Takeaways: Orange County News Conference 5/6/2020
The latest numbers from the Florida Department of Health in Orange County show 1,460 COVID-19 cases and 36 deaths in the County. More than 32,000 tests have been done Countywide.
NEW TESTING SITES
Orange County Government’s Health Services Division is opening new, free COVID19 testing sites starting this week and next week. Based on zip code data from Orange County’s heat map at www.ocfl.net/COVID19HeatMap, these new sites are opening in areas where there have been a higher number of positive COVID-19 cases. These testing sites require online appointments.
Thursday, May 7 & Friday, May 8, 2020
Legacy Middle School, 11398 Lake Underhill Rd, Orlando
Make an online appointment at www.ocfl.net/LegacyMiddle
Monday, May 11 & Tuesday, May 12, 2020
Lakemont Elementary School, 901 N Lakemont Ave, Winter Park
Make an online appointment at www.ocfl.net/LakemontElementary
Ventura Elementary School also is a testing site available this week and early next week: Make an online appointment at www.ocfl.net/VenturaElementary
The Florida Department of Health in Orange County also announced several new testing sites ,which are slated to open next week (May 11 – May 15). You can call 407-723-5004 from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m., or you can leave a message and they will call you back.
Testing sites will be located at Independence Elementary in Winter Garden, Olympia High School, Camping World Stadium, Evans High School and Prairie Lake Elementary.
More information at www.ocfl.net/coronavirus.
ECONOMIC RECOVERY TASK FORCE
The full Orange County Economic Recovery Task Force met today with the working groups presenting recommendations to be considered for the overall plan to reopen the County, and restore consumer confidence.
Meetings are streamed live on Orange TV for anyone to watch at www.ocfl.net/OrangeTV.
A library of the meetings, including the working groups are available on the County’s website.
Working Group Reports:
- The Business Readiness Working Group is discussing how to distribute the large amount of PPE procured by the County. Distribution is slated to start on Monday, May 11, 2020. We plan to distribute one million masks and 200,000 hand sanitizers to small businesses in Orange County. Orange County will more provide details later this week on this sign-up and distribution process.
- The Business Compliance & Consumer Confidence Working Group made a motion to recommend that Orange County issue an electronic survey that gauges consumer confidence around reopening the economy.
- The Bringing Back Tourism Working Group has come up with a three-tiered approach to ensure Orlando is top of mind, when it comes to travel. The group is working on ways to build trust and ease concerns, and drive demands for a strong share of travel.
- The Guidelines for Businesses to Reopen Working Group is following up on the Governor’s discussion to reopen personal service businesses like barber shops, nail salons and hair salons.
RESTAURANT GUIDELINES FOR RE-OPENING
Orange County Government has developed re-opening criteria for restaurants in unincorporated Orange County. The County is implementing a measured approach that balances the re-opening of eating establishments with ensuring the safety of patrons and the public at large.
The Governor’s Executive Order mandates that restaurants can allow no more than 25% indoor occupancy and outdoor seating is permissible with appropriate social distancing and subject to local zoning requirements.
Key Takeaways: Orange County News Conference 5/4/2020
The latest numbers from the Florida Department of Health in Orange County show 1,438 COVID-19 cases and 35 deaths in the County.
- Orange County has conducted 29,402 tests and the percentage of positive cases from testing in the County over this past weekend has been 0.9% and 1.1%. Currently, the average rate for positive cases in testing is 4.9%.
In addition, 10% of all positive cases reported in Orange County are from asymptomatic individuals. The Florida Department of Health in Orange County now reports a 93% recovery rate in Orange County from COVID-19.
GOALS FOR THIS WEEK:
Orange County Mayor Jerry L. Demings highlighted the following three goals for this week:
- Increase testing and the convenience of testing.
- Support the reopening of businesses with Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) distribution.
- Receive final recommendations from Orange County’s Economic Recovery Task Force to support the Phase 1 reopening standards, and help businesses and the public prepare for Phase 2. Orange County’s local Executive Order regarding Re-Opening Orange County, Social Distancing and Face Coverings can be found on the COVID-19 webpage.
Orange County Health Services continues to offer free COVID-19 testing this week – and residents do not need to have symptoms. The South Orange Youth Sports Complex, located in the 32824 zip code, has many appointments available. Visit www.ocfl.net/SouthOrange or www.ocfl.net/VenturaElementary for available appointments at Ventura Elementary.
The drive-through testing site at the Convention Center is also open throughout the week as is the Walmart parking lot site in partnership with Quest and the City of Orlando in the 32822 area.
#407DATES LAUNCHES TO CONTINUE TO SUPPORT RESTAURANTS
In an effort to continue to support local restaurants, Orange County Government and Visit Orlando are launching #407Dates. For the next several weekends, Visit Orlando will promote virtual date night activities and encourage couples to order romantic meals.
NINTH JUDICIAL CIRCUIT UPDATE
The Court continues to be committed to the health and safety of all court users and court workers. To be clear, Governor DeSantis’ Order does not affect the courts or courthouses. Following Florida Supreme Court administrative orders, the courts will continue to limit courthouse access to only proceedings that are essential and critical to a state of emergency or the public health emergency.
The circuit has a dedicated COVID-19 information and updates at website at www.ninthcircuit.org
ORANGE COUNTY TAX COLLECTOR’S OFFICE
On Monday 5/4, the Orange County Tax Collector’s Office will open by appointment only in the following locations: Downtown, Clarcona, Sand Lake and University offices (Lee Vista and West Oaks Mall opened on 4/29). They will be following strict social distancing guidelines.
On 5/1, the Governor extended all driver’s license/ ID expiration dates by 30 days for those licenses/ IDs that expire between 5/1 – 5/31. For more information, visit www.octaxcol.com/covid19
Key Takeaways: Orange County News Conference 5/1/20
The latest numbers from the Florida Department of Health in Orange County show 1,413 cases and 34 deaths in the County.
- 77% of all COVID-19 cases in Orange County have fully recovered.
- Orange County has conducted nearly 27,000 tests and the percentage of positive cases in the County is 5.4% – which has decreased from 5.6% earlier this week.
ECONOMIC RECOVERY TASK FORCE
There has been more than a dozen general and working group virtual meetings of the Orange County Economic Recovery Task Force within the past week.
The Task Force recommended these seven general guidelines for all industries:
- Practice social distancing
- Stay home when feeling sick
- Wear protective face covering
- Conduct health screenings
- Sanitize and wash hands frequently
- High-risk individuals should shelter and work from home, whenever possible
- Recommend temperature check for all staff. All temperatures of 100 degrees or above must go home.
In an effort to help small businesses obtain the Personal Protective Equipment needed, Orange County has ordered one million masks and 200,000 hand sanitizers through the federal CARES Act funds to distribute locally.
“The business community is grateful for Mayor Demings’ leadership and measured approach to getting our economy moving again,” said Tim Giuliani, president and CEO of the Orlando Economic Partnership. “Because of our region’s leadership our community has effectively slowed the spread of COVID-19, and together, we’ll continue to do what’s best to ensure health and safety as well as economic recovery.”
Today, Mayor Demings sent a letter to the Governor asking to do whatever is necessary to open personal care facilities like hair salons, nail salons and barbershops – as long as they are operating within the Governor’s Phase I guidelines.
A full recommendation from the Economic Recovery Task Force will be given to Mayor Demings by Monday, May 4.
Mayor Demings is also working with the County Attorney to issue an Executive Order in the next 24 hours to incorporate many of these recommendations to reopen Orange County – and ensure the Order is in line with surrounding counties. However, the work of the Economic Recovery Task Force will continue.
Guidance for outdoor seating/capacity
The Governor’s Order does not address capacity with respect to outdoor dining. Outdoor dining areas are subject to zoning requirements and associated conditions. The Governor’s order does not prohibit counties or cities from enforcing those zoning requirements and associated conditions.
Permits are still required. To apply for a permit within unincorporated Orange County, visit the Fast Track Online Permit page.
TESTING SITES CONTINUE TO EXPAND
Due to the continued demand in the 32822 and 32824 zip codes, Orange County Health Services has expanded the number of tests offered at Ventura Elementary in Orlando and South Orange Youth Complex testing sites from 150 tests per day to 200 per day. These sites will continue to be open next Monday, May 4 through Friday, May 8 from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m.
Appointments are booked online ONLY and you do not have to have any symptoms. To book online, visit:
Para información en español (or any other languages), por favor llame al 407-836-3111.
For more information, visit www.ocfl.net/COVID19
The City of Orlando also announced another drive-through testing site in partnership with Walmart and Quest Diagnostics that will open on Monday, May 4 at the Walmart parking lot located at 5991 Goldenrod Road in Orlando, FL, 32822. Testing will be available by online appointments only. There is no residency requirement.
For all testing site information, visit www.ocfl.net/coronavirus.
After consulting with the Sheriff and Police Chiefs, the curfew will remain in effect in Orange County through next week and then the County will reassess.
Key Takeaways: Orange County News Conference 4/29/20
The latest numbers from the Florida Department of Health in Orange County show 1,371 COVID-19 cases and 33 deaths in the County. An updated heat map can be found at www.ocfl.net/COVID19HeatMap.
PROMISING STATS TO REPORT
- April 26, 2020 was the first day that there were zero COVID-19 hospitalizations reported in Orange County.
- The average rate of positive COVID-19 tests coming back continues to decrease – it’s now at 5.6%.
- Orange County is conducting more than 1,200 tests per day. Testing availability and information can be found at ocfl.net/covid19.
Orange County Health Services began offering two free testing sites to residents this week at Ventura Elementary (32822 zip code) and South Orange Youth Park (32824 zip code). In fact, 68% of the people who made appointments at the Ventura Elementary site reside in the 32822 zip code. All online appointments have been booked this week. However, the sites may offer more appointments next week.
Due to the weather forecast for Thursday, April 30, 2020, the Florida Department of Health in Orange County is rescheduling all COVID-19 mobile testing at Barnett Park to Saturday, May 2, 2020.
All appointments scheduled for Barnett Park on Thursday, April 30, 2020, will be honored on Saturday, May 2, 2020, at Barnett Park, 4801 W. Colonial Drive, Orlando.
Testing at Jay Blanchard Park will continue as planned on Friday, May 1, 2020.
Next week, the Department of Health in Orange County will not offer mobile testing, and will regroup, restock and plan. By mid-next week, the organization will announce planning for possible continued mobile testing. They will also announce some immunization sites for students in preparation for the upcoming school year.
For more information on testing sites, visit www.ocfl.net/covid19. Any other updates and changes to test sites will be reflected on this webpage.
In regard to reopening businesses, Orange County Government will take Governor DeSantis’ recommendations under review and advisement. From the Governor’s directives, the Orange County Economic Recovery Group will work to formulate a plan to re-open the full economy in a phased approach.
“In order for us to reopen businesses in Orange County we must instill consumer confidence,” said Orange County Mayor Jerry L. Demings.
“We can’t have economic health without public health. We look forward to creating a thoughtful, methodical plan to phase our community’s economy into recovery,” said Orlando Mayor Buddy Dyer.
Virtual Working Groups for the Economic Recovery Task Force began meeting this week, and will continue to discuss ideas to create a safe, phased approach to reopen Orange County. Note: no plan has been finalized yet.
You can view meetings and find more information at www.ocfl.net/EconomicRecovery.
The next full Economic Recovery Task Force meeting is Friday, May 1 at 2 p.m.
ORANGE COUNTY SHERIFF’S OFFICE
Members of the Orange Sheriff’s Office are serving as part of the Business Compliance and Consumer Confidence working group for Orange County’s Economic Recovery Task Force.
In the last week, Sheriff Mina mentioned that its Traffic Section made 199 traffic stops and issued 175 citations for speeding. Nearly 100 of those were issued for people traveling more than 25 miles per hour over the posted speed limit. Please make sure to abide by speed limits and watch for pedestrians.
Key Takeaways: Orange County News Conference 4/27/20
The CDC confirms that nearly one million people have COVID-19 in the U.S. with a total of more than 52,000 deaths. The latest numbers from the Florida Department of Health in Orange County show 1,339 COVID-19 cases and 30 deaths in Orange County.
In addition, the Florida Department of Health in Orange County reports about a 70 percent recovery rate from COVID-19 within the County. In total, more than 23,600 people have been tested in Orange County with a 7.5% positive rate.
Orange County Mayor Jerry L. Demings stressed that the goals for this week are to continue to expand testing as well as prepare the County for business re-opening.
The work of the Economic Recovery Task Force is moving forward and Orange County still remains under the Governor’s Orders for Shelter in Place. The next full meeting of the Orange County Economic Recovery Task Force is scheduled for Tuesday, April 28 at 2:30 p.m. Tune into Orange TV at www.ocfl.net/OrangeTV to watch tomorrow or on Orange County Government’s social media channels. The work groups are also meeting during the week. For more information, visit www.ocfl.net/EconomicRecovery.
NEW TESTING SITES OFFERED IN 32822 & 32824 ZIP CODES
On Wednesday, April 29, Thursday, April 30 & Friday, May 1, 2020 from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m., Orange County Health Services will offer FREE COVID-19 testing at the following sites:
South Orange Youth Park
11800 S. Orange Ave
Orlando, FL 32824
Ventura Elementary School
4400 Woodgate Blvd.
Orlando, FL 32822
Appointments are booked online ONLY. Please do not show up at the test sites without an appointment. You do not have to have any symptoms to qualify for testing. You must be 18+.
- ocfl.net/SouthOrange: to book at the South Orange site
- ocfl.net/VenturaElementary: to book at the Ventura Elementary site.
Para información en español (or any other languages), por favor llame al 407-836-3111.
For more information, visit www.ocfl.net/coronavirus.
UCF EXPANDS TESTING TO LAKE NONA
On April 29, a COVID-19 drive-through testing site will open in Lake Nona through a partnership between the UCF College of Medicine, Aventus Health and Tavistock. For more information, visit UCF’s newsroom at https://med.ucf.edu/news/drive-through-testing-starts-wednesday-in-lake-nona/
More information at www.ocfl.net/coronavirus.
Key Takeaways: Orange County News Conference 4/24/20
The latest numbers from the Florida Department of Health show 1,286 cases in Orange County and 29 individuals have died from the illness in the County.
According to Health Administrator for the Florida Department of Health in Orange County Dr. Raul Pino, we are flattening the curve, and have seen a negative growth in cases over the past five weeks.
Four weeks ago, Orange County had 273 new COVID cases. This week, we had 61 new cases.
ENHANCED TESTING AND SITES CONTINUE
The Florida Department of Health of Orange County will continue its mobile testing sites into next week. Some of the locations have changed, including adding a location in Apopka.
Residents of Orange County can secure an appointment for testing by calling the Department of Health’s Orange’s COVID-19 Call Center at 407-723-5004. The Call Center is open Monday through Friday, 8 a.m. until 5 p.m. each day. There is no criteria for testing and it is free.
Mobile Testing Dates and Locations:
- Monday, April 27, 2020 – West Orange Park, (rescheduled from April 24, 2020)
150 Windermere Road, Winter Garden, FL 34787 (site will ONLY be open on Monday)
- Tuesday, April 28, 2020 – Apopka High School
555 Martin Street, Apopka, FL 32712 (site will ONLY be open on Tuesday)
- Wednesday, April 29, 2020 – Camping World Stadium,
1 Citrus Bowl Place, Orlando, FL 32805 (site will ONLY be open on Wednesday)
- Thursday, April 30, 2020 – Barnett Park,
4801 W. Colonial Drive, Orlando, FL 32808 (site will ONLY be open on Thursday)
- Friday, May 1, 2020 – Jay Blanchard Park,
10501 Jay Blanchard Trail, Orlando FL 32817 (site will ONLY be open on Friday)
The data in flattening of the curve is promising news for Orange County’s economic recovery efforts. Orange County Economic Recovery Task Force is reviewing and researching the safest and most sensible ways to get our business community on the road to recovery with a phased approach.
“My goal is to ensure that there is an intersection of being safe and feeling safe before businesses reopen,” said Orange County Mayor Jerry L. Demings.
Orlando Mayor Buddy Dyer echoed this sentiment by saying, “We cannot have good economic health, if we do not have good public health.”
Key Takeaways: Orange County News Conference 4/22/20
Orange County kicked off its Economic Recovery Task Force this morning. Members are charged with coming up with a safe and sensible way to reopen Orange County in strategic phases.
Five workgroups within the overall Task Force will focus on various aspects of economic recovery, including business readiness, health monitoring and business compliance. Those workgroups will begin meeting this week. The next overall Task Force meeting will be April 28, 2020 from 2:30 p.m. to 4:30 p.m. For questions or information on the Task Force, contact EconomicRecovery@ocfl.net.
DEPARTMENT OF HEALTH ORANGE INFO
The latest numbers from the Florida Department of Health in Orange County show 1,251 COVID-19 cases and 29 deaths resulting from the illness in the County. A local 42-year-old recently died from the illness. Testing has increased as well as testing availability. Yesterday, Orange County received 2,000 testing kits from the Florida Department of Emergency Management.
The percentage of people testing COVID-19 positive in the County has decreased from 8 percent to 7 percent. Residents are encouraged to take advantage of free testing sites at www.ocfl.net/coronavirus.
Orange County is working to set aside testing kits to test the homeless, and are in the process of finding additional testing sites near the hot zones, specifically the 32822 zip code.
ORANGE COUNTY SHERIFF REMINDERS
Orange County Sheriff Mina noted that people in the community are being mindful of the social distancing guidelines. The Sheriff’s Office encourage individuals to stay away from any gatherings and activities where the distancing guidelines are not in practice.
If you see violations in your neighborhoods, please call the non-emergency number at 407-836-4357 (HELP). If you see a crime in progress, or anything suspicious, call 911.
CITY OF ORLANDO UPDATES
Next week, the City of Orlando Council will vote on a business initiative, which will provide immediate relief to Main Street districts and their businesses.
This relief initiative allows businesses to draw down immediately the remaining City match dollars made available annually and additionally allows for dollars dedicated for beautification projects to fund COVID-19 recovery and support.
As a reminder for Orlando city residents, the website is www.orlando.gov/COVID19, and has the latest Information available in five different languages: Spanish, Portuguese, Creole, Vietnamese and English.
Key Takeaways: Orange County News Conference 4/20/20
The latest numbers from the Florida Department of Health in Orange County show 1,204 COVID-19 cases and 23 deaths in the County. So far, there have been a total of 16,732 tests administered in the County. Orange County is dependent upon the state supply chain in order to increase the amount of testing. Mayor Demings credited the help of the private sector with increasing the County’s testing numbers, but would like more testing sites available throughout the County.
Reminder: The first meeting of the Orange County Economic Recovery Task will be held virtually on Wednesday, April 22 at 9 a.m. Orange TV will air the meeting in its entirety.
The Florida Department of Health in Orange County administrated 140 tests at one of its mobile sites today at Jay Blanchard Park; however they have capacity for up to 200 tests. For these testing sites, you do not have to have any symptoms, but you need an appointment. In addition, there is no out-of-pocket expenses and no identification is required if you do not currently have. In addition, no insurance is needed, but is requested if you have. Visit www.ocfl.net/coronavirus to learn about various testing sites available and if an appointment is needed.
LONG-TERM CARE FACILITIES IN ORANGE COUNTY
The Department of Health in Orange County also reported today that there have been a total of 17 positive COVID-19 cases (in residents or staff) at 10 different long-term care facilities in Orange County. There have also been a total of two deaths at these facilities.
OCPS CONTINUES VIRTUAL LEARNING UNTIL END OF SCHOOL YEAR
The Governor extended the closure of schools in Florida through the end of the academic year, which will be May 27, 2020 for Orange County Public Schools (OCPS).
School sites and district offices will only be open Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays from 9 a.m. – 2 p.m. This schedule will be revisited when the Governor’s Safe-at-Home order expires. All visitors must have an appointment.
Please call the school or send a message through the general email at the bottom of the school’s homepage to schedule an appointment. Information regarding health advisories, distance learning, and the Grab-and-Go meal distribution program is available at www.ocps.net. In addition, the District Mental Health Counselors can be reached Mon – Fri from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. at -317-3694.
During these times uncertain times responding to the 2020 Census is more important than ever. Some of the programs that we are relying on during this crisis have funding determined by the Census Count. Programs such as school lunches, unemployment insurance, emergency management services and hospitals are affected. All households have received their invitations to respond.
Please go online or call and complete the 2020 Census at: www.my2020census.gov or by calling 844-330-2020. Both the website and the phone lines are available in 12 languages.
Key Takeaways: Orange County News Conference 4/17/20
Orange County has tested 15,000 individuals for COVID-19 and there has been roughly an 8 percent positive case rate for all testing administered. Currently, there are 1,135 COVID-19 cases in Orange County with 21 deaths.
The Florida Health Department of Health in Orange County has many available appointment openings for its mobile testing sites and the Orange County Convention Center has also increased its testing. Visit www.ocfl.net/coronavirus for testing information.
ORANGE COUNTY ECONOMIC RECOVERY TASK FORCE
Orange County Mayor Jerry L. Demings has formed the Orange County Economic Recovery Task Force chaired by George Aguel, president of Visit Orlando and Tim Giuliani, president of the Orlando Economic Partnership.
The co-chairs will head up a group of nearly 50 individuals representing such areas as local hospitals, theme parks, financial institutions, hotels, as well as small business owners. Representation will also be from Osceola, Lake and Seminole Counties. The first virtual meeting of the Task Force will be the morning of April 22, 2020.
The Task Force will work to create recommendations for re-opening Orange County, including a measured and sensible approach to ease restrictions, while ensuring the safety of all. For more information about Orange County’s Economic Recovery Task Force and a list of members, visit Orange County’s newsroom.
CITY OF ORLANDO PROVIDES DATA TRACKER
Orlando Mayor Buddy Dyer launched a new online COVID-19 data tracker. The platform uses data provided by the Florida Department of Health to show an updated look at the latest data on COVID-19 positive cases specific to the City of Orlando.
This new platform, which can be accessed at orlando.gov/datatracker includes information on the total number of COVID-19 positive cases city-wide and breakdowns of those cases.
Orange County’s heat map is online at www.ocfl.net/Covid19HeatMap.
TOURISM HELP HUB – VISIT ORLANDO
A “Tourism Help Hub” is now available on the Visit Orlando website and contains relevant news and resources for individuals and businesses in need. The Tourism Help Hub features information on financial relief resources, food assistance, employment opportunities and special offers for healthcare workers and first responders.
To assist with business planning, the hub will also provide access to Visit Orlando’s industry insights, webinars and opportunities to join campaigns helping to keep Orlando top of mind with consumers. For questions or suggestions, email Visit Orlando information.
VIRTUAL ANIMAL ADOPTIONS
The majority of animals for adoption are currently in foster care and the foster parent is offering to host virtual meetings to see the pet.
Key Takeaways: Orange County News Conference 4/15/20
The latest numbers from the Florida Department of Health in Orange County show 1,051 cases and 18 deaths in Orange County. So far, a total of 12,756 tests have been administered.
TESTS EXPANDING AROUND THE COUNTY
To better serve all Orange County residents, the Florida Department of Health in Orange County is collaborating with Orange County Government and the City of Orlando to offer free, mobile COVID-19 testing sites throughout the County.
- Tests are by appointment only. To schedule an appointment, call 407-723-5004, Mon. – Fri. from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m.
- Sites are open during the weekdays only
- Testing is free; no insurance required
- Available for Orange County residents only
- Must be 18 years+
- Orange County parks are closed while testing sites are operational
Individuals with an appointment should arrive no earlier than 15 minutes before their scheduled time at the designated drive-thru mobile testing site.
Note: Appointments are required. PLEASE do not show up at the test locations. Your testing location will be determined by your residency in Orange County.
TESTING SITE – ORANGE COUNTY CONVENTION CENTER
The Regional Drive-Through Testing Site at the Orange County Convention Center opens daily at 9 a.m. All residents in the region are welcome – not just in Orange County. The drive-through site increased the daily testing total to 750 tests.
For more details about available testing site locations visit, www.ocfl.net/coronavirus.
ORANGE COUNTY PUBLIC SCHOOLS
- The OCPS Grab-and-Go Meal distribution program has served more than 1 million meals since its inception. Starting the week of April 20, 2020, the program will move to a new distribution schedule at all 52 sites. The new schedule will be Monday, Wednesday and Friday. Weekend meals will continue to be distributed on Fridays.
- In an effort to keep more individuals at home, OCPS continues to make adjustments to its school and district office hours to limit the exposure of employees and families. On April 20, 2020, the district will move to a Monday, Wednesday, Friday schedule for school sites and its district office. OCPS has already made arrangements for a large majority of its employees to work from home.
SMALL BUSINESS SUPPORT
The Orlando Economic Partnership is launching a new, free service program to further help local small businesses navigate the many assistance programs that are available to help them during this crisis.
The new service, called BRACE, stands for Business Recovery Assistance and Collaborative Engagement, and will ensure that businesses are in touch with the proper resources for their unique needs as soon as possible to receive relief and further help their employees. Visit BRACEOrlando.org for details info.
Supplies and Personal Protective Equipment
Through private vendors, Orange County is supporting more 250 organizations with masks, gowns, face shields, hand sanitizers, etc. Those groups include first responders, public safety agencies, assisted living centers and health care workers. Orange County is working successfully working toward a sustained supply of personal protective equipment for a 20 to 30-day period.
Supplies from the State of Florida include the following items:
- 90% of the face shields ordered (or 40,000) have been received and distributed
- 45% of the N95 facemasks ordered (or 118,000) have been received and distributed
- 17% of protective gowns ordered (or 14,000) have come in and have been given to those on the front line
NEEDS FOR THE HOMELESS
Homeless donations are needed. If you have cleaning supplies, thermometers, linens/towels, blankets, hospital gowns, robes, Ziploc bags or food and beverages to donate, please bring them to the collection site at United Against Poverty.
Key Takeaways: Orange County News Conference 4/13/20
The latest numbers from the Florida Department of Health in Orange County show 1,017 COVID-19 confirmed cases in the County and 13 deaths. There have been no new reported deaths in Orange County from COVID-19 since Friday, April 10. The encouraging news is there have not been a significant amount of new cases or hospitalizations, so Orange County’s measures to “Stay at Home” and social distancing are continuing to have positive effects.
- At this time, Orange County Mayor Jerry L. Demings will not mandate an order to require residents to wear masks in public. The decision was based on input from local law enforcement, health officials and other leaders. Mayor Demings cited three reasons for his decision: the challenge for law agencies to enforce; his observation that the majority of residents already comply with facemask recommendations; as well as possible challenges on all residents gaining access to masks.
- However, the Mayor strongly urges individuals wear a mask/facial covering when out in public and at essential businesses. It is a good health protocol to keep flattening the curve. Visit Orange County’s “Health Resources” tab at ocfl.net/coronavirus to view the video of the U.S. Surgeon General explaining how to make homemade cloth masks.
UPCOMING NEW TEST SITES:
- The Florida Department of Health in Orange County is planning mobile test sites throughout the County. Currently they have five proposed sites – four of which would be in County parks and one in downtown Orlando. They will announce the confirmed sites soon and plan to provide 250 to 300 tests a day at each site. These new test sites will expand outreach to various areas in the County that have a high amount of cases on the heat map and to ensure a further reach of testing in the County. The testing is by appointment only and is free.
- In addition, the testing criteria at the drive-through regional COVID-19 site has broadened. This testing service is free and does not require an appointment. However, individuals will be seen on a first come, first served basis until the daily limit is reached. The testing site opens daily at 9 a.m. and is available for all residents and visitors. For information on expanded criteria to qualify for testing, visit ocfl.net/coronavirus.
- For the latest heat map in the County that shows an overview of cases and where they are concentrated, visit ocfl.net/COVID19HeatMap.
Key Takeaways: Orange County News Conference 4/10/20
The latest numbers from the Florida Department of Health in Orange County show 895 cases and 13 deaths in the County. The statewide Stay at Home order is more important than ever.
Various projection models have the area’s peak at different times – ranging as early through April 12 through April 21, or as late as the first week of May. The hospitals are prepared to handle these peaks and commend the community’s mitigation efforts.
While there are several hot spots across the County, 49 of the County’s 53 zip codes have at least one confirmed case of COVID-19.
Mayor Demings along with County Chairs of Seminole, Osceola and Lake Counties sent letters to Governor DeSantis in support of the Orange County Convention Center being designated as a State “Alternative Medical Site,” or federal medical station, if hospital systems exceed their capacity within our region. The Convention Center has hosted federal resources and personnel during hurricane is a presently a temporary COVID-19 testing site.
The Convention Center drive-through testing site will expand its criteria and increase testing once it has transitioned from the federal to the state. Updates will be shared at www.ocfl.net/coronavirus and on Orange County’s social media channels once testing criteria is confirmed by the state.
DON’T OVERWHELM ERs
The Department of Health in Orange County would like to remind residents to please stay home if you do not require emergency care. We cannot overrun our ERs.
Residents are asked to contact their primary care doctors.
BUSINESS AT THE COUNTY: CONTINUING STRONG
Despite the pandemic, construction activity in Orange County is continuing at a steady pace. Due to the efficiency of online reviews, turnaround times for reviewing project plans are exceeding the County’s goals.
The County’s permitting, inspections and customer service sections within the Division of Building Safety are active, with more than 1,100 permits issued and nearly 5,000 inspections just last week. In comparison to the previous weeks, these numbers are within the average range.
Key Takeaways: Orange County News Conference 4/8/20
As of today, there are 803 confirmed cases of COVID-19 in Orange County. Ninety-six individuals have been hospitalized and 10 residents have passed away due to the illness.
An updated heat map for Orange County COVID-19 cases is available at www.ocfl.net/COVID19HeatMap.
CONVENTION CENTER TESTING SITE ANTICPATING INCREASE IN DAILY-ALLOTTED TESTS
The Orange County Convention Center Temporary Drive-Through Testing Site has administered a total of 3,785 COVID-19 tests since its inception. Because of lab processing restrictions, the testing site currently administers 250 tests daily. In the coming days, the site will transition from being federally led, to state led, allowing the site to test more people.
For more information, visit www.ocfl.net/Coronavirus.
DIGITAL TOWN HALL
Orange County Mayor Demings will participate in WKMG-TV’s Digital Town Hall on Thursday, April 9, 2020 at 8 p.m. Mayor Demings, along with University of Central Florida Economist Dr. Sean Snaith, CareerSource CEO Pam Nabors, and Tim Giuliani, CEO of the Orlando Economic Partnership, will be available for questions and want to hear from Orange County residents.
For more information, visit WKMG’s Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/news6/.
SECOND HARVEST FOOD BANK NEEDS DONATIONS
Second Harvest Food Bank of Central Florida has roughly doubled its daily distribution of food to 300,000 meals a day. As a nonprofit with limited budget and resources, Second Harvest relies heavily on the generosity of the community to help fund a long-term relief effort for those whose lives have been damaged by the COVID-19 pandemic. Financial donations are the best way to provide support right now. Second Harvest can turn a $1 donation into four meals.
To provide a donation, visit: feedhopenow.org.
THANKS for #407 DAY SUPPORT TO RESTAURANTS
Please continue to show restaurant support during the month of April during #407 Days. We had an overwhelming support for our local restaurants.
Key Takeaways: Orange County News Conference 4/6/20
Orange County has now tested 7,265 individuals for COVID-19. Approximately 10 percent of those tested — 713 people — have been confirmed positive.
Updated heat map for Orange County COVID-10 cases available at www.ocfl.net/COVID19HeatMap
CDC UPDATED GUIDELINES ON MASKS & DONATIONS
The CDC recommends cloth mask coverage when in public. Visit Orange County’s “Health Resources” tab at www.ocfl.net/coronavirus to view the video of the U.S. Surgeon General explaining how to make homemade cloth masks. Orange County has also updated its myths vs. facts documents on COVID-19.
Thank you to businesses such as Orlando-based Fiddler’s Roofing for generously donating 175 N95s and 150 procedure masks to our Health Services Division. The masks will be used by our law enforcement officers in the field.
Orlando-based Motion Industries has also donated supplies, and local resident Andrea Ruiz-Hays, who is part of the Million Mask Challenge Facebook group, has donated homemade masks to Orange County Government workers assisting residents with our rental assistance program.
Thank you to both residents and businesses for your support at this time.
#407 DAY PROMOTION THROUGHOUT APRIL
Orange County, along with the City of Orlando, restaurant food bloggers and Visit Orlando, recently launched “407 Day” to support local restaurants during these challenging times. We are recognizing tomorrow, April 7, which numerically represents our region’s area code — 407 — to encourage residents to get takeout or delivery.
We want to keep this promotion going through the entire month of April and are asking for your support.
We encourage you to spread the word tomorrow and throughout the month of April by posting your takeout photos using the hashtags: #407Day and #OrlandoToGo.
ORANGE COUNTY BOARD MEETINGS ARE NOW VIRTUAL
In order to comply with CDC guidelines and keep both our residents and employees safe, we will conduct all Orange County Board of County Commissioners meetings virtually until further notice.
We are committed to providing alternative platforms for the public to have the opportunity to submit comments.
You can email your comments to firstname.lastname@example.org so County staff can read your submissions and add them to the record.
For more information, visit the Board of County Commissioners’ webpage.
Key Takeaways: Orange County Government’s News Conference 4/3/20
As of today, there are 589 confirmed cases in Orange County. According to the State Department of Health in Orange County, more than 1,000 cases are expected by next Friday.
The most recent data analytics indicate that every 3.8 days we see a doubling of the numbers of reported COVID-19 cases. Orange County continues to urge residents to stay at home and practice social distancing in an effort to slow the doubling of cases slow to every four to six days.
Updated heat map for Orange County COIVD-19 cases available at www.ocfl.net/COVID19HeatMap.
STAY AT HOME AND CURFEW
As of April 3, 2020, the Governor’s statewide executive “Stay-at-Home” Order went into effect. It is critical to continue to follow the CDC guidelines and adhere to this new statewide order. The Governor’s Executive Order supersedes all County mandates and requires all 67 counties to comply. For more information, visit the updated FAQs page.
Orange County’s curfew remains in effect from 11 p.m. until 5 a.m. until further notice.
TRANSPORTATION SALES TAX REFERENDUM
Orange County Mayor Demings suspends the pursuit of an Orange County’s transportation sales tax referendum on the November 2020 ballot. The initiative will still be pursued, but at a later date. The County’s current focus is solely on the health and welfare of all residents.
WEEKEND MEALS FOR STUDENTS
Orange County Public Schools will offer weekend meal offerings for students beginning April 10, 2020.
MORTGAGE, RENT AND FORECLOSURES EVICTIONS
Issued in response to Governor DeSantis’ Administrative Order 20-94, Orange and Osceola Clerks of Courts are directed to:
- Suspend all actions related to mortgage foreclosure causes of action,
- Cancel all pending mortgage foreclosure sales, and
- Suspend all actions related to residential eviction causes of action.
The Ninth Circuit’s Order is not to be construed as relieving obligation to pay rent or mortgage. Read more about the temporary order regarding mortgage foreclosures, foreclosure sales, and evictions.
LIMITED COURTHOUSE ACCESS
Essential/critical proceedings continue to be held in person at the courthouse:
- Persons seeking emergency injunctions for protection
- Emergency shelter hearings
- Baker Act hearings
- Guardianship hearings
Many processes are continuing remotely.
Newsroom Top Takeaways: Orange County Government’s News Conference 4/1/2020
DATA-DRIVEN ANALYTICS USED IN ORANGE COUNTY
The number of confirmed COVID-19 cases in Orange County continues to grow. According to the latest numbers from the Florida Department of Health, the County is approaching more than 400 cases of COVID-19. The model shown below from the Institute of Health Metrics and Evaluations predicts the state’s peak in COVID-19 cases will be at the end of April or the beginning of May. When the peak is reached, the state anticipates more than 170 deaths per day statewide — equating to nearly 7,000 deaths in the state during this timeframe.
Other local-centric models, such as the one shown below, display hot spots of COVID-19 cases in Orange County broken down by zip code.
“If an area does not look like a ‘hot zone,’ do not be deceived — all residents still must be vigilant,” said Orange County Mayor Jerry L. Demings. “According to the CDC, as many as 25 percent of individuals can be infected with COVID-19 but not show any symptoms.”
The data analytics from national, state and local sources validate the local Stay-At-Home Order and confirm the need for residents to stay at home as much as possible.
CRITERIA UPDATES FOR CONVENTION CENTER DRIVE-THROUGH TESTING SITE
State Emergency Management has removed the age requirement for COVID-19 testing at the Orange County Convention Center Drive-Through Testing Site.
Those who would like to be tested must still have symptoms and a temperature, or a pre-existing condition. All health care and EMS personnel are also eligible for the test, regardless of symptoms. Those being tested should bring their ID, and health care workers should bring their work ID for proof of certification. The site opens daily at 9 a.m. and will remain open until it has reached capacity in fulfilling 250 tests.
More information on local testing sites can be found at www.ocfl.net/coronavirus.
Top Takeaways: Orange County Government’s News Conference 3/30/20
Growing Number of COVID-19 Cases in Orange County
According to the latest numbers from the Florida Department of Health, Orange County has 293 confirmed cases of COVID19. This growing number puts Orange County fourth in the state for confirmed cases. Only Miami-Dade, Broward and Palm Beach counties have more.
STAY AT HOME
All residents and guests in Orange County must adhere to the Stay-at-Home order, currently in effect.
Even if a business is deemed essential, Orange County Government is urging employers to have employees work from home if at all possible. The County is also urging residents to think about protecting the health of their loved ones, as well as their neighbors.
It is important to remember, you can still spread the virus even if you are asymptomatic.
Residents with questions about the Stay At Home Order, can learn more by reading the Order’s frequently asked questions.
ECONOMIC RESILIENCY AND COMMUNITY SUPPORT
Orange County Government’s Office of Emergency Management has activated a diverse, bilingual team to provide emergency support resources to local businesses across the County. This emergency support function can provide resources regarding funding sources for devastated business, employee safety information related to COVID-19, employee assistance information and other vetted resources for businesses.
Additionally, the federal government recently approved the CARES Act, which will provide a number of resources for our local businesses including the Paycheck Protection Program that allows small businesses to receive forgivable loans to help retain employees and avoid layoffs.
For more information, business owners can call 407-254-8833, or email ESF18@ocfl.net.
MEALS ON WHEELS VOLUNTEERS NEEDED
The Seniors First’s program Meals on Wheels delivers nutritious meals to homebound seniors. Due to the community health situation, Senior’s First is experiencing a shortage of volunteers to make these life-essential deliveries. Able volunteers can visit SeniorsFirstinc.org for volunteering information.
Top Takeaways: Orange County Government’s News Conference 3/28/20
Since the first COVID-19 case was confirmed in Orange County two weeks ago on March 14, 2020, we now have 206 confirmed COVID-19 cases in the County. One case even includes a child less than one year’s old.
Take the Stay-at-Home Order Seriously
- By mandate of Orange County Mayor Jerry L. Demings, a Stay-At-Home Order is in effect in Orange County until April 9. The County is working with its partners at the Florida Department of Transportation and the Central Florida Expressway Authority to share information to our residents on the road about this.
- “While it’s encouraging to see people outside exercising and observing social distancing measures, we still have too many unnecessary people out and about on the road in Orange County,” said Mayor Demings. “Please take the Stay-at-Home Order seriously, as it’s meant to protect you and your loved ones.”
Level 1 Activation at the Emergency Operations Center
- Yesterday, Orange County’s Emergency Operations Center became activated at its highest level – Level 1. This means we have the highest level of alertness and all representatives from county government municipalities and partner agencies are present in-person or virtually at our Emergency Operations Center.
Utilize 311 for COVID-19 Information
- While you are staying at home, please utilize 311 if you have any questions. While I know many of you are reaching out to Orange County through social media, we have dedicated county representatives – who also speak Spanish – ready to answer all of your questions by simply calling 3-1-1. You can also chat with a representative online at ocfl.net/311. This line is available to Orange County residents Monday through Friday from 7 a.m.- 9 p.m. and over the weekend from 9 a.m. through 5 p.m.
LYNX to Reduce Service
- The Central Florida Regional Transportation Authority (LYNX) will switch its Monday -Saturday schedule to a modified service schedule. The modified schedule is available at golynx.com/coronavirusinfo, which the agency is using to house all LYNX information regarding this pandemic.
Women, Infants and Children (WIC) Program
- Starting Monday, March 30, 2020, the Florida Department of Health in Orange County will temporarily close a few Women, Infants and Children (WIC) program offices until further notice. Five WIC offices will remain open during normal business hours in order to distribute formula, process new client registrations, and provide other WIC benefits.
- The WIC Call Center will stay operational to assist with appointment needs and other general questions during normal business hours. The WIC Call Center phone number is 407-858-1494.
Stay updated at www.ocfl.net/coronavirus for the latest information.
Key Takeaways: Orange County Government’s News Conference on 3/26/20
Currently, there are 110 confirmed cases of COVID-19 have been reported in Orange County – with four deaths. This number has doubled in the past two days. One of Orange County Fire Rescue’s firefighters has also tested positive for COVID-19. Our first responders continue to care for our residents in the midst of this crisis, so it is of paramount importance to stay vigilant with the Executive Order and comply with social distancing.
Executive Order Amended
- The mandatory “Stay At Home” Executive Order takes effect today, March 26, 2020 at 11 p.m. It will continue until April 9 at 11 p.m.
- In response to business and resident inquiries, some amendments have been made to the Executive Order. Visit the County’s updated FAQ page, which details common questions.
- Due to the overwhelming response from the community, Orange County is increasing its staff members for its COVID-19 Crisis Assistance Program.
- We are aware that the initial rollout of the COVID-19 Crisis Assistance Program to help Orange County residents had some challenges in respect to high call volume and citizens not being bel to get through. To that end, we are offering an online form to help streamline the process. recognized these challenges and took aggressive action and are here to report that:
- For the quickest and most convenient way to contact the COVID-19 Crisis Assistance Program, fill out a form at: ocfl.net/COVID19RentalAssistance. Appointments will be scheduled within two to five business days. We are conducting up to 44 appointments each day this week, and will be up to about 60 per day starting next week. If you are unable to fill out a form online, you can call at 407-836-6500 (hours Mon – Fri. 8 a.m. to noon), but there is no need to call if you fill out a form.
- The “Grab and Go” free meal program for children 18 years old and under will continue at 50 sites. Please check ocps.net for location updates. The hours of the program have been adjusted to 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. beginning Friday, March 27. The meals include breakfast and lunch to take home. Children must be present to receive the meals. Children can be in a vehicle, walking or riding a bike and no identification is needed. The family does NOT need to qualify for free and reduced meals and the child does NOT have to be enrolled at the school to receive food.
- Distance learning for ALL OCPS students begin Monday, March 30.
All non-emergency hearings will either be rescheduled or conducted remotely. All proceedings in the outlying courthouses – Apopka, Ocoee, and Winter Park – scheduled through April 17 have been canceled to be rescheduled at a later time.
Persons seeking emergency injunctions for protection
Emergency shelter hearings
Baker Act hearings
Suspension through April 17
If you have been summoned to report for duty between now and April 17, your service is complete and you will not be called again for at minimum 12 months.
Accessing Updated Information
The circuit has a dedicated COVID-19 information and update page on our website, www.ninthcircuit.org
The Orange County Property Appraiser’s Office has granted a 45-day extension for filing Tangible Personal Property (TPP) tax returns. Returns are now due May 15, 2020, and can be filed by mail, online or via email. Visit www.ocpafl.org for additional information.
- Executive Order – March 26, 2020 – “Stay at Home”
- Frequently Asked Questions about the “Stay at Home” Executive Order
Top Takeaways to Remember: COVID-19 | March 22, 2020
Currently, as of March 22, 2020, there have been 33 confirmed COVID-19 cases in Orange County.
- The opening of drive-through testing sites are important to all of us, as testing is the key to perfecting our response and mitigation plans. One testing site will be at the parking lot near the Orange County Convention Center and is slated to open on Wednesday, March 25.
- Please note: Orange County Government does not run these testing sites. The sites are run by the Florida Department of Health and Florida Division of Emergency Management. Additionally, the test results will NOT be provided on-site; information will be given regarding timeframe for results to those discharged.
- Visit ocfl.net/coronavirus for information on these sites.
Orange County Parks & Recreation’s Boat Ramp Closures and Other Updates:
- All boat ramps (total of 11 in the County) are closed effective 8 p.m. on Sunday, March 22
- Closed Kelly Park’s Rock Springs Run to swimming effective Monday, March 23.
- Canceled all rentals until May 9. This includes camping reservations, room rentals, field rentals and special events.
- Closed camping at Kelly, Moss, Magnolia, Trimble and Clarcona Parks. Effective Monday, March 23 at 8 p.m.
- All camps for children are suspended as of EOD Monday, March 21.
Orange County Utilities Suspends Late Payment Fees:
In addition to the current policy suspending disconnections for non-payment, Orange County Utilities will suspend late payment fees for residential water and wastewater customers effective Monday, March 23.
New Hospital Guidelines
Effective immediately, Orlando Health, Advent Health and others are suspending routine visitation in its hospitals until the transmission of COVID-19 is no longer a threat to the community. For elective surgery suspension and other information, visit hospital webpages.
As of March 23, 2020, Orange County Government has launched a Crisis Rental Assistance Line where residents can learn more about the COVID-19 Rental Assistance Program. This will provide assistance with one month’s rent so residents will be able to use their limited funds on other necessities. You MUST call for an appointment in order to bring the necessary documents. The hotline will be open Monday-Friday from 8:30 a.m. to 3 p.m. Call 407-836-6500. Visit www.ocfl.net/covid-19 for more information and click on the “Resident Resources” tab.
Top Takeaways to Remember: COVID-19 | March 20, 2020
- Residents must continue to practice social distancing at all times and be mindful of unnecessary trips and social interactions.
- To help ensure public safety measures and encourage social distancing, a daily curfew for Orange County has been implemented (March 20, 2020), effective daily from 11 p.m. through 5 a.m.
- Exemptions for the curfew include essential workers like medical, government and first responders, as well as residents reporting for regular work. The Orange County Sheriff’s Office will enforce this curfew starting March 20, 2020 and moving forward.
COVID-19 Rental Assistance Program:
- Because of the hardship in our community, we are offering a COVID-19 Rental Assistance Program to help those who reside in Orange County.
- This is a one-time benefit for one month’s rent assistance for Orange County residents only.
- Orange County Government has established a Crisis Assistance Hotline at 407-836-6500. Hours, criteria, and additional information can be found in the Resident Resources tab on ocfl.net/coronavirus.
- Appointments will not be given to Orange County residents who are receiving payment from their employer. You MUST call for an appointment.
- Governor Ron DeSantis has issued an Executive Order that directs all restaurants and food establishments in the state to suspend on-premise food and alcohol for consumption. The listed establishments may, however, operate their kitchens for the purpose of providing delivery or take-out services.
- The Executive Order also requires the closures of gyms and fitness centers within the state.
Anxiety is Normal:
- In times of stress, many times anxiety can overwhelm some of us, and that is understandable and normal. Residents are asked to stay calm, informed and measured as Orange County Government implements a proactive and planned response.
- Take care of yourself and family – both physically and mentally. Information is power and arms you with the reassurance you need for yourself, loved ones and neighbors.
Top Takeaways to Remember: COVID-19 | March 18, 2020
- Unless you are experiencing severe respiratory distress, such as shortness of breath or chest pain, you SHOULD NOT go to an ER for a COVID-19 test. An ER should only be used for medical emergencies. An influx of unnecessary patients to an ER will overwhelm our hospital systems, and put healthcare workers and other patients at risk.
- If you are sick and exhibiting symptoms, including fever, cough, and shortness of breath, you should seek treatment with your primary care physician or urgent care center. It is recommended that residents call their provider before visiting their clinic.
- Physicians are stringently adhering to the testing criteria set by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention to determine if a patient qualifies for a COVID-19 test. A doctor will likely test you for other illnesses, such as the flu, before ordering a COVID-19 test.
- While hospitals have testing capabilities, the public cannot come in and order their own tests. A physician must order it.
Bars and Restaurants:
- Orange County Government is following the Executive Order provided by Florida Governor Ron DeSantis on March 17, 2020. All bars and nightclubs are closed in Orange County for 30 days.
- Residents can report any violations to the Department of Business and Professional Regulation on the Department’s online portal
- Restaurants are required to limit customer entry to 50 percent of capacity. Additionally, seating must be staggered and limited to ensure parties are separated by a distance of at least six feet. Orange County Government highly encourages restaurants to expand take-out and delivery services so that residents can continue supporting local businesses.
Community-Based Testing Sites:
- Community-Based Testing Sites will be state-managed and locally executed operations integrated with broader state public health services, which may require varying levels of federal personnel support. The U.S. Dept. of Health and Human Services remains the lead federal agency for the management of the response to COVID-19.
- The Orange County Convention Center has committed to working with local, state and federal partners to provide the Destination Flat Parking Lot at 5980 Destination Pkwy, Orlando, FL 32819, as a drive-through for a Community-Based Testing Site for the Central Florida region. This will not impact business operations and all testing will take place externally. This is a fluid situation in terms of when and exactly where it will open, but we are committed to serving the Central Florida community and will provide more information as details are confirmed with our partners
- Community-Based Testing Sites are only available to those who meet the Department’s criteria for being tested for COVID-19. It is not facility open to anyone who wants to be tested.
Hotels & Community Resources:
- Orange County’s hospitality and tourism industry has been impacted by COVID-19. Many hotels are furloughing employees and cutting back services due to decreased demand.
- Orange County Government will be expanding its Crisis Assistance Program and providing a hotline to help mortgage and rent-stressed households within the County. Details soon to follow.
- Residents are encouraged to visit www.ocfl.net/Coronavirus for a list of community assistance services available in Orange County
Takeaways from Orange County Coronavirus News Conference | March 16, 2020:
- Orange County has 4 confirmed cases
- Imperative to call your doctor before going to a clinic/ER if you think you exhibit any symptoms in order to protect healthcare workers and patients
- Limit exposure by following CDC guidelines on social gathering/distancing
- Crisis Assistance Program to provide financial assistance to residents: bit.ly/2WkLcAS
- For Orange County Building Services Division, please utilize online permitting tools: fasttrack.ocfl.net/OnlineServices
- Orange County Sheriff’s Office suspending evictions. Please file all reports online
- Ninth Judicial Circuit Court of Florida suspending trials/summons for two weeks
Continue to check Orange County’s social media channels, as well as www.ocfl.net/Coronavirus for up-to-date information.
Top 5 Takeaways from Orange County Coronavirus News Conference | March 14, 2020:
- Orange County has its first confirmed case of COVID-19. The resident was exposed outside of the County on travel.
- Residents are asked to stay informed and calm. The next few days might be uncomfortable due to closures and cancellations.
- Residents are asked to continue practicing good hygiene and limiting interactions between others, especially vulnerable populations.
- Second Harvest Food Bank of Central Florida is in need of sorting and distribution volunteers: feedhopenow.org/volunteer.
- Local and national blood supplies are low. OneBlood is in need of donations: oneblood.org.
Continue to check Orange County’s social media channels, as well as www.ocfl.net/Coronavirus for up-to-date information.
Top 5 Takeaways from Orange County Coronavirus News Conference | March 13, 2020:
- Until further notice, Orange County Parks and Recreation will cancel any program or gathering facilitated by the County for senior age groups.
- All County-coordinated gatherings with more than 250 people planned to attend will be cancelled or postponed.
- Implement social distancing when possible to minimize the spread of germs.
- Take advantage of community resources. Mental Health Association of Central Florida for free mental health tools, or Heart of Florida United Way‘s 211 service for critical health and social service.
- Residents can call Florida Department of Health (DOH) Coronavirus Call Center if they are experiencing symptoms: 407-723-5004.
Continue to check Orange County’s social media channels, as well as www.ocfl.net/Coronavirus for up-to-date information.
Orange County Government is currently monitoring the status of the Coronavirus (COVID-19). At this time, officials are asking for help from the community to minimize the potential spread of germs, and to monitor personal health.