‘COVID is real:‘ Black community leaders ask residents to ‘mask up'

Orange County reports more than 500 new cases Wednesday

ORLANDO, Fla. – Health experts and Central Florida leaders agree it’s time to “mask up” to prevent the spread of the coronavirus, the disease that continues to cause havoc across Florida and around the world.

Onyx Magazine, Orlando District 5 Commissioner Regina Hill, Orange County Mayor Jerry Demings and Orlando Mayor Buddy Dyer, along with other community leaders, held a news conference Wednesday to plead with the Black and Hispanic communities to wear a mask to protect themselves and others from COVID-19.

Face covers prevent droplets that carry the virus from spreading from your nose and mouth to others.

All of the community members made impassioned pleas for everyone to wear a face covering as Orange County now has nearly 11,000 COVID-19 cases since March, 550 new cases of which were reported Tuesday.

Demings said Orange County continues to see a surge in new cases and the pandemic has “adversely impacted communities of color all across America, and this community is no different.”

Onyx Magazine Publisher Rich Black said the idea for the education campaign came from an encounter he had while at a restaurant in Orlando when dine-in eating was prohibited due to COVID-19. A patron said he thought he should be able to eat at the establishment because, “Regina Hill hadn’t said nothing about it.”

Black said he believes the problem was information about COVID-19 was “not being given to the African American community by people they trust.”

Onyx Magazine, Orlando Health and communities leaders launched a campaign on June 1, 2020 to encourage everyone to wear a mask and prevent the spread of COVID-19. (WKMG 2020)

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