ORANGE COUNTY, Fla. – Orange County’s five strike teams will be out visiting businesses unannounced this weekend ahead of the Super Bowl.
The teams will be checking to see if businesses are still in compliance with Orange County’s mask mandate and Mayor Jerry Demings’ COVID-19 executive order.
“The state team in the Super Bowl in the hometown of the Super Bowl, I am sure there is going to be a lot of excited people out there,” said Tim Boldig, deputy director of Planning Environment and Development Services in Orange County. “Our strike teams go to places unannounced and we will be out and about as we usually are and hopefully the weekend goes without incident.”
This comes after four businesses were cited for not being in compliance last weekend, including Knight’s Library, Knight’s Pub, Tin Roof and Infinity Nightclub, according to county officials.
“It’s an operation that has worked well for us. Certainly we have seen places where they see our strike teams coming and everyone begins masking up in compliance, so we prefer to continue our unannounced visits out there,” Boldig added.
Boldig said it’s important to note 99% of businesses visited are in compliance and since the beginning of the strike team visits, they’ve issued 106 warnings and 22 citations at $300 each.
Because of that, the city of Orlando’s downtown district is helping businesses prepare with personal protective equipment. Roseangela Parker, executive director of the downtown district, walked through the streets of downtown Orlando Wednesday with a wagon in hand that was full of masks and sanitizer.
“There are a few that mentioned, ‘We are expecting larger crowds, it’s a Super Bowl weekend,’” Parker said. “The last thing we want is negative press for our different merchants here who have been struggling to just keep their doors open. We definitely don’t want to see our businesses in the media on the list of the strike force team saying, ‘You aren’t [in compliance] because you don’t have PPE.’”
The strike teams said they will be coming to businesses unannounced throughout the entire weekend.