Orange County government, courts in Florida ease COVID-19 restrictions

CDC downgrades transmission risk in county from substantial to moderate

Orange County Mayor Jerry Demings signing the county's updated masking executive order (Copyright 2021 by WKMG ClickOrlando - All rights reserved.)

ORLANDO, Fla. – A local government and courts in Florida are easing up on COVID-19 restrictions as the state’s virus caseload has declined in recent weeks.

Starting Monday, wearing face masks and social distancing became optional in Florida's courthouses.

In an order, Florida Supreme Court Chief Justice Charles Canady cited the fact that almost 70% of eligible Florida residents were fully vaccinated and the number of cases in the state has dropped sharply.

In Orange County, Mayor Jerry Demings said Monday that county employees would no longer be required to wear masks in county facilities, though it is still recommended. The change was prompted by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention downgrading the transmission risk in the county from substantial to moderate.

The positivity rate in Orange County, home to the city of Orlando and the nation's largest theme park resorts, is now 2.5%, and 73% of the population 12 years and older is fully vaccinated.

“I also encourage you to continue taking safety precautions such as frequent handwashing and staying home when you don’t feel well,” Demings said in an email to employees, according to the Orlando Sentinel.