Bargoers head to downtown Orlando despite spike in COVID-19 cases

Local leader says he has ‘major concerns’

Downtown Orlando is alive again after the 10 p.m. curfew was lifted and bars got the green light to reopen.
Downtown Orlando is alive again after the 10 p.m. curfew was lifted and bars got the green light to reopen.

ORLANDO, Fla. – Downtown Orlando is alive again after the 10 p.m. curfew was lifted and bars got the green light to reopen.

Many people, such as Gerrone Acosta, expressed that they were excited and nervous.

“Half of the people are like, ‘You know what? I’m tired of this I wanna go out’ and other people are like, ‘but the second wave though,’” Acosta said.

According to Florida Department of Health, the state is facing a resurgence of the coronavirus one week after Florida’s phase two of reopening. The agency reported it has logged about 1,000 new cases a day recently.

Orange County Mayor Jerry Demings said he wants people to be vigilant.

“I want the people of Orange County to know we need the collective help of the community to keep the numbers low. We’re asking you to exercise some peer pressure for the people who live here,” Demings said.

On Thursday, the mayor said he hopes he won’t have to reimpose restrictions again.

“We don’t want to be in a situation where we put additional mandates in place,” he said.

People downtown expressed reluctance about staying out late, like Iyana Collins.

“I came out for chicken wings, I’m not going to lie, but we’re taking it to go and we’re going home,” she said.

It may be too soon to know if reopening Florida is the cause for the worrisome spike, however, Seminole County emergency manager Alan Harris issued this statement to News 6:

“We have some major concerns. We were hoping the increase in number was a one- or two-day blip. Unfortunately, it has remained relatively stable. The numbers have increased considerably,” Harris wrote.


About the Author:

Nicky Zizaza is an Emmy-nominated reporter who joined the News 6 nightside team in December 2018. She is originally from Rwanda and she started her journalism career in the nation's capital.