Orange County Florida’s top health official stated that residents and visitors should be prepared to wear masks for the rest of 2020 at least. Read on for details.
According to the Orlando Sentinel, Orange County Florida’s top ranking health official, Dr. Raul Pino, stated that masks would be the norm for at least the remainder of 2020 and perhaps into the spring or until a vaccine is available for the novel Coronavirus.
Pino credits the recent downward trend of coronavirus positives in Orange County Florida to local mask ordinances as well as the continued closure of bars.
During the week of June 21 Orange County Florida saw a high percentage of positive test results. On June 20, Orange County Mayor Jerry Demings began requiring face coverings in public.
Since the face covering requirement went into effect, Orange County Florida has seen a steady decline in cases following the post-Memorial Day spike. During the most recent week, Orange County is seeing positive test rates around 8-9%.
I (Rebecca) previously covered the Orange County test results and why experts look to the rate of positive tests as an indicator rather than case counts, deaths or hospitalizations. You can see more about it here.
Approximately a week after the Orange County mask order, Florida banned the operations of bars, a measure credited with slowing the spread among 25-35 year old residents.
Florida does not have a statewide mask mandate, but many individual localities do.
The sentinel article went on to say that coronavirus deaths in Orange County are at an all time high. On Wednesday July 26, 24 people in Orange County died from the novel coronavirus.
Data from the Florida Department of Health is updated daily by county. Yesterday, August 1, Orange County Florida reported 5.9% of tests came back positive. The area is getting closer and closer to the 5% threshold recommended by the World Health Organization.
You can take a look at the Florida numbers overall and by county here. The site is updated daily.
For those Disney World fans who have pushed their trips back to avoid the mask mandate, spring 2021 may not be far enough out.
While the masks will become easier to tolerate as the weather cools, they are likely here to stay for awhile based on comments from Orange County Health Department Officials.
-Rebecca W Davis