ORANGE COUNTY, Fla. – Orange County health leaders have amended the way they present their local coronavirus heat maps in hopes of painting a more accurate picture of the pandemic’s current effect on the region.
From now on, the zip code map will only highlight cases from the past two weeks. Orange County Mayor Jerry Demings said narrowing the map down to the past 14 days will help filter out those who tested positive for COVID-19 and have since recovered.
“It’s the period of time that’s more specifically related to the efforts we have underway now and not the historical numbers over time because many of the individuals in the various zip codes have recovered. So when we look at a 14-day period of time -- that’s the period the virus is more active and most active in our community,” Demings said.
Since the highly contagious respiratory illness made its way to Central Florida, 1,708 people have tested positive in Orange County. Dr. Raul Pino, from the Florida Department of Health in Orange County, said the current positivity rate is 2.9% and about 88% of patients have recovered.
Of course, he noted that those numbers will fluctuate in the coming days and weeks, as they have during the past two months.
“This pandemic moves and every day is a little bit different," he said.
Overall, the county is in “good shape,” according to the doctor.
Numbers from the new heat map published Wednesday show the 32824 zip code with 28 active cases in the past two weeks, which is more than any other area in the county.
That zip code is west of Orlando International Airport and includes the Taft and Meadow Woods communities.
The 32703 zip code, with 18 cases in the past two weeks, is another area Pino is monitoring.
He said a small outbreak has been identified in that Apopka-area zip code. The neighboring zip code, 32712, also has 18 recent cases and is the same zip code where two employees at a spice manufacturing company died after contracting COVID-19.