Orange County strike teams find 70 businesses not complying to COVID-19 guidelines throughout December

19 businesses visited for first time

Orange County strike teams to visit businesses suspected of not following mask mandate, CDC guidelines
Orange County strike teams to visit businesses suspected of not following mask mandate, CDC guidelines

ORANGE COUNTY, Fla. – Before wrapping up 2020, Orange County’s COVID-19 strike team found 70 businesses not complying with coronavirus regulations.

The strike teams, created to make sure local businesses were following the county’s COVID-19 protocols, mostly conducted reinspections throughout the month.

Of the 70 visits conducted between Dec. 7 and Jan. 4, only 18 were first-time inspections. The strike team was visiting the other 52 businesses for at least the second time and in some cases for the fifth.

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According to the county, all but a few businesses were found not complying with face-covering mandates. Other issues included lack of social distancing, limited space and room for patrons and lack of regulation enforcement.

Supermarkets, restaurants, gas stations, pet shops, bars, gyms and car repair shops were some of the businesses included on the list. None of the major theme parks or attractions, including Walt Disney World and Universal Studios, were listed.

The strike team visited 24 businesses for reinspection. Another 14 businesses were reinspected for the third time. The county notes that nine sites were visited for the fourth time, and four businesses revisited for a fifth.

Out of the 70 visits through the time period a majority received warnings, but 10 received citations.

Orange County Mayor Jerry Demings announced the creation of the strike teams in mid-July to target “bad actors” and get them to follow Centers for Disease Control and Prevention protocols to stop the spread of COVID-19.

Demings previously warned the county would fine businesses that are consistent non-compliance. It was not made clear if those with citations have been fined.

News 6 has contacted the county for further clarification.