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‘Not quite yet where we want to be:’ Orange County sees ‘blip’ in coronavirus positivity rate

County health officer says he’s not concerned

A woman dispenses hand sanitizing lotion at SouthPark Mall, Wednesday, May 13, 2020, in Strongsville, Ohio. Ohio retail businesses reopened Tuesday following a nearly two-month-long shutdown ordered by Gov. Mike DeWine to limit the spread of the coronavirus. (AP Photo/Tony Dejak)
A woman dispenses hand sanitizing lotion at SouthPark Mall, Wednesday, May 13, 2020, in Strongsville, Ohio. Ohio retail businesses reopened Tuesday following a nearly two-month-long shutdown ordered by Gov. Mike DeWine to limit the spread of the coronavirus. (AP Photo/Tony Dejak) (Copyright 2020 The Associated Press. All rights reserved.)

ORANGE COUNTY, Fla. – With the second week of phase one of reopening Florida underway, Orange County saw a one-day increase in the coronavirus positivity rate, but at this point, the county’s leading health officer says he’s not concerned.

Orange County Health Officer Dr. Raul Pino made the announcement Wednesday during a news conference alongside Orange County Mayor Jerry Demings, Orlando Mayor Buddy Dyer and Dr. Yolanda Martinez.

Pino said the the local positivity rate is 3.9%, noting that tests results provided Tuesday alone yielded a 3.6% positivity rate, the highest single-day percentage the county has seen since April 30.

For perspective, the single-day positivity rate was 0.2% Sunday and 1.0% Monday, figures show. The overall positivity rate on Monday was 4%.

On Tuesday, there were 898 negative test results provided and 34 positive, according to data the county provided. The numbers did not indicate how many of those people had already previously been diagnosed with COVID-19.

Demings said there have been 1,553 cases in Orange County, up 16 from Tuesday.

While Pino said he’s continuing to monitor the data, especially now that restaurants and retailers have started accepting customers once again, he’s not worried about the “blip” that happened Tuesday, adding that a lab was having some issues reporting new cases so some of those could have been from prior days.

“By itself, it means absolutely nothing, it should have to be a consistent pattern and it’s not far fetched from the 3.4(%) that we had prior," Pino said.

What would concern him, he said, is if there was a three-day period where each day experienced a higher positivity rate than the one before it.

As questions start to swirl about when Florida will enter phase two, Demings said he’s more focused on keeping residents safe and making decisions based on health care data. He expects the governor to make a decision on when the next phase will begin in the coming weeks.

“We’re not quite yet where we want to be. Our goal is to get to the point where we have zero new cases in Orange County and we’re not there,” Demings said.

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