ORANGE COUNTY, Fla. – Though he has gotten some complaints since it went into effect, Orange County Mayor Jerry Demings said so far, most residents appear to be abiding by the countywide stay-at-home order issued in an effort to slow the spread of the novel coronavirus.
The stay-at-home order, which went into effect Thursday night, will remain in place for two weeks.
Through a zoom interview Friday, Demings reiterated the fact that the order is in place to help save lives and reduce the number of cases of COVID-19.
“We are simply trying to stop the spread of the virus within our community,” Demings said.
He also wanted to remind residents only to leave home for essential business, like work, laundromats, grocery stores and gas stations, for example.
[Timeline: The spread of coronavirus in Florida]
Demings said the county’s goal is not to arrest residents but educate and inform them about the order.
“We are asking our community to work together, and if we work together on this, we can be successful,” he said.
The mayor said his office is using social media to educate people.
Demings’ communications team said late Friday that their social team is responding to more than 100 questions a day from residents on platforms like the Nextdoor app, Twitter, Facebook, Instagram and LinkedIn and is directing them to resources where they can find answers.
Along Alafaya Trail, at the the border of Seminole and Orange counties, many businesses in Seminole County were open and operating Friday. A few blocks away in Orange County, where the stay-at-home order is in effect, it was quiet and many places were closed.
"I understand why they’re doing this. It’s for our own safety," said Orange County resident Kevin Kolbe.
Orange County resident Victor Guiterrez said he’s abiding by the order but still has things he needs to cross off his to-do list.
“Sometimes you have to get out and (get) things done,” Guiterrez said.
Guiterrez said he crossed the county line Friday to run essential errands.
“I was transferring some money. Getting some payments done,” Guiterrez said.
Hours before the order went into effect Friday, Demings announced some changes had been made to clarify what businesses and activities are considered essential.
Click here to read the full executive order.
At last check, there were 2,900 Florida-related cases of COVID-19 and at least 34 deaths reported statewide, according to numbers from state health officials. According to the Florida Department of Health, more then 150 cases have been confirmed in Orange County, including a 9-year-old who tested positive for the coronavirus.
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