Here’s who will guide Orange County in reopening businesses

Mayor Jerry Demings convening panel of 40-45 people

Orange County Mayor Jerry Demings announced on Wednesday he has taken the first steps to explore reopening some businesses in the wake of the coronavirus pandemic.
Orange County Mayor Jerry Demings announced on Wednesday he has taken the first steps to explore reopening some businesses in the wake of the coronavirus pandemic.

ORANGE COUNTY, Fla. – Orange County Mayor Jerry Demings announced on Wednesday he has taken the first steps to explore reopening some businesses in the wake of the coronavirus pandemic.

He told reporters he plans to assemble an economic exploration team that will consist of about 40 to 45 people, including business leaders in many sectors of the economy.

"Small businesses like hair salons and barbershops, to realtors, to theme parks, to professional services," Demings said.

He said the Walt Disney Company could be a heavy hitter in those discussions.

Not only is Disney Orange County’s largest employer, Demings said the company will likely have a lot of advice on how to slowly turn the key to reopening.

"In terms of where they are with their experience with the pandemic, they are probably ahead of us," he said.

Demings pointed to Disney's experience in Asia, the epicenter of the COVID-19 pandemic.

The company had to shut down its parks there, as well.

"They’ve experienced some things -- in terms of the planning process -- that I believe could be beneficial and constructive to us as we begin to respond to the very uniqueness of our county," he said.

Demings said he also participated in a conference call on Wednesday with leaders of Seminole, Osceola, and Lake counties, as residents there often commute to Orange County for work.

He said they will be working together to provide guidance.

President Donald Trump is expected to release guidelines for reopening businesses shut down in response to the coronavirus outbreak.
President Donald Trump is expected to release guidelines for reopening businesses shut down in response to the coronavirus outbreak.

On Thursday, President Trump was expected to announce his timetable for the governors of some states to possibly reopen some businesses before May 1.

Demings said more of his plans for his task force could be unveiled on Friday.

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About the Author:

Erik Sandoval joined the News 6 team as a reporter in May 2013. He is one of the station’s lead reporters. During his time at News 6, Erik has covered several major stories, including the 2016 Presidential campaign. He was also one of the first reporters live on the air at the Pulse Nightclub shooting.