Data dump causes spike in Orange County COVID-19 cases but it’s not ‘far from reality’

746 positives reported Sunday were from three days or results

Rapid COVID-19 testing begins at Barnett Park in Orange County
Rapid COVID-19 testing begins at Barnett Park in Orange County

ORANGE COUNTY, Fla. – After Orange County reported nearly 800 new coronavirus cases Sunday, Dr. Raul Pino with the Orange County Florida Department of Health said the large number was due to a data dump from a laboratory in Brevard County.

The county reported 746 positive cases on Sunday, according to Pino, those tests were from results on Nov. 11-14. Prior to Sunday, Orange County has been reporting hundreds of new cases per day. On Monday, the Florida DOH reported 313 new cases in the county.

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After digging into the data, Pino said “we detected it was an increased number of reports on Saturday that are accumulated from the prior days of testing."

However, Orange County’s top doctor warned this number of daily infections could be a reality if people do not observe safety precautions and prevent the spread.

“It’s not far-fetched from the reality that we may face. If we do not observe the CDC guidelines that are in place, if the bars, restaurants, and other places where people congregate do not follow the guidelines of our political leaders,” Pino said.

Orange County Mayor Jerry Demings revealed that strike teams visiting businesses around the county reported people in bars and restaurants not wearing masks or social distancing.

Pino also said the county’s coronavirus recovery rate is dropping, on Monday he reported it was down to 91% from 96%.

“That’s not a good sign,” he said.

Last week, new coronavirus cases increased by 36%, Pino said, adding that is the highest increase the county has seen in the last 15 weeks.

“It feels like the data is in a pressure cooker and it’s about to go off,” Pino said.

Most of the cases in the county have been transmitted from people who know each other well.

The infectious disease expert again urged everyone to follow the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention guidelines to stop the spread.

“This is really avoidable, and preventable,” Pino said. “It’s not people randomly acquiring it from the air while you are driving it is mainly people who congregate together in close quarters, small places, poor ventilation, high numbers, not wearing any masks, not washing your hands, not watching your distance.”

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