ORANGE COUNTY, Fla. – Orange County Mayor Jerry Demings and Health Officer Dr. Raul Pino are not comfortable with people celebrating Halloween the traditional way amid the coronavirus pandemic.
The holiday is about six weeks away.
“Our primary focus should be to keep the public safe,” Demings said.
Dr. Pino noted trick-or-treating and Halloween parties involve big groups moving in all directions and touching the same surfaces.
At Friday’s news conference Mayor Demings also mentioned one of the latest statements from the CDC.
“I might even go so far as to say that this face mask is more guaranteed to protect me against COVID than when I take a COVID vaccine,” CDC Director Robert Redfield said.
Demings said he is asked quite a bit when the mask mandate will end.
“Not likely anytime soon,” Demings said.
Mayor Demings said masks are a necessary tool to fight COVID-19.
The latest data from the Florida Department of Health shows there have been more than 38,000 cases of coronavirus in the county.
The DOH reports there have been 1,280 hospitalizations and 431 coronavirus deaths in Orange County since the beginning of the coronavirus pandemic.
Health officials said there have been more than 677,000 cases of coronavirus in the state.
Mayor Demings said the majority of new cases are people 15-24.
The latest two-week positive rate data shows Orange County around 4 percent, Demings said he is happy with the number but it could be better.
“Wear your mask, wash your hands, and keep your distance,” Dr. Pino reminded residents.
He reminded residents to wear a mask to keep others safe.
“You don’t know who has what,” Pino said.