Orange County Government Public Information Officer
Email: PIO@ocfl.net

Coronavirus Updates

Latest news is displayed first.

For resources and information on the Coronavirus, visit www.ocfl.net/Coronavirus.

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Update: News Conference | April 3, 2020 | 4:30 p.m.

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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.

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Update: News Conference | April 1, 2020 | 4 p.m.

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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.

A bar graph of the projected "Deaths per Day" due to Co-vid-Nineteen. It projects that in 32 days Orange County will hit its peak count of daily deaths. It also projects 179 deaths on May 3rd, 2020.

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.”

Heat map of Orange County, FL as of March 31, 2020 showing the regions of the county where Coronavirus cases are located. In general, cases are concentrated in the central and western areas of the county.

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.

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Update: News Conference | March 30, 2020 | 4:30 p.m.

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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.

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Update: News Conference | March 28, 2020 | 3:30 p.m.

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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.

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Update: News Conference | March 26, 2020 | 4 p.m.

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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.

COVID-19 Crisis Assistance Program

  • 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.

Orange County Public Schools (OCPS)

  • 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.

Ninth Circuit Courts Update

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.

Essential/Critical Proceedings:

Persons seeking emergency injunctions for protection

Emergency shelter hearings

Baker Act hearings

Guardianship hearings

Jury Trials

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

Orange County Property Appraiser Update

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.

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Update: News Conference | March 24, 2020 | 5 p.m.

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Links:

 

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Update: News Conference | March 22, 2020 | 5:30 p.m.

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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.

Drive-Through Testing Sites

  • 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.

Crisis Rental Assistance Hotline

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.

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Update: News Conference | March 20, 2020 | 3 p.m.

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Top Takeaways to Remember: COVID-19 | March 20, 2020

Curfew:

  • 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 DeSantis:

  • 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.
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Update: News Conference | March 18, 2020 | 4 p.m.


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Top Takeaways to Remember: COVID-19 | March 18, 2020

Hospitals:

  • 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
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Update: Statement | March 17, 2020 | 4 p.m.

Orange County Mayor Jerry L. Demings Statement on Coronavirus and Restaurants and Bars | March 17, 2020

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Update: News Conference #5 | March 16, 2020 | 4 p.m.

Takeaways from Orange County Coronavirus News Conference | March 16, 2020:

  1. Orange County has 4 confirmed cases
  2. 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
  3. Limit exposure by following CDC guidelines on social gathering/distancing
  4. Crisis Assistance Program to provide  financial assistance to residents: bit.ly/2WkLcAS
  5. For Orange County Building Services Division, please utilize online permitting tools: fasttrack.ocfl.net/OnlineServices
  6. Orange County Sheriff’s Office suspending evictions. Please file all reports online
  7. 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.

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Update: News Conference #4 | March 14, 2020 | 1 p.m.

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Top 5 Takeaways from Orange County Coronavirus News Conference | March 14, 2020:

  1. Orange County has its first confirmed case of COVID-19. The resident was exposed outside of the County on travel.
  2. Residents are asked to stay informed and calm. The next few days might be uncomfortable due to closures and cancellations.
  3. Residents are asked to continue practicing good hygiene and limiting interactions between others, especially vulnerable populations.
  4. Second Harvest Food Bank of Central Florida is in need of sorting and distribution volunteers: feedhopenow.org/volunteer.
  5. 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.

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Update: News Conference #3 | March 13, 2020 | 12 p.m.

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Top 5 Takeaways from Orange County Coronavirus News Conference | March 13, 2020:

  1. Until further notice, Orange County Parks and Recreation will cancel any program or gathering facilitated by the County for senior age groups.
  2. All County-coordinated gatherings with more than 250 people planned to attend will be cancelled or postponed.
  3. Implement social distancing when possible to minimize the spread of germs.
  4. 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.
  5. 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.

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Update: News Conference #2 | March 5, 2020 | 5 p.m.

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Update: News Conference #1 | March 2, 2020 | 4 p.m.

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.

About Orange County Government: Orange County Government strives to serve its citizens and guests with integrity, honesty, fairness and professionalism. Located in Central Florida, Orange County includes 13 municipalities and is home to world-famous theme parks, the nation’s second-largest convention center, and a thriving life science research park. Seven elected members make up the Board of County Commissioners including the Mayor who is elected countywide. For more information, please visit www.OCFL.net or go to the Orange County Facebook and Twitter pages.

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