Orange County reopening task force set to meet for first time in three weeks

COVID-19 cases have been on the rise since last meeting

ORANGE COUNTY, Fla. – During a time when most restaurants are struggling to keep the doors open, owner Florencio Rodriguez of Don Julio Mexican Kitchen Tequila Bar is gearing up to open its fourth location in Lake Nona in two weeks.

“Everybody wants to come in, everyone wants to sit and eat and have a good time but we cannot do that, we’ve got to take responsibility about being six feet apart,” Rodriguez said.

It’s a viewpoint he said helped when he got a call to have a seat at the table when the coronavirus pandemic hit.

“I want to give thanks to Jerry Demings for choosing us to be part of the task force, especially as a Latino, and giving an opportunity for me to give the word out to the Latino community. That we need to take responsibility on this COVID-19,” Rodriguez said.

On Wednesday, the business owner said he will rejoin the 44-member economic recovery task force virtually to discuss reopening plans and recommendations.

“My suggestion will be to tell the public to keep wearing masks and to wash their hands,” he said.

Since the last meeting on June 3, Orange County has seen coronavirus cases climb, a mandatory mask order enacted, and some closures.

“Now that everything is raising up, I plan to have a meeting with all my managers next week, I’m thinking about going back to carry out orders only,” Rodriguez said.

The mix of business, government, and health leaders will also discuss agenda items which include updates on the NBA and MLS.

The NBA and MLS are moving forward with plans to begin their seasons in Orlando next month. But it’s unclear what update we’ll hear from the organizations.

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