Orlando prepares to help renters hurt by pandemic as Florida reports 1,989 new COVID-19 cases

Rental assistance program set to open Tuesday

Orlando prepares to help renters hurt by pandemic as Florida reports 1,989 new COVID-19 cases
Orlando prepares to help renters hurt by pandemic as Florida reports 1,989 new COVID-19 cases

ORLANDO, Fla. – Many Floridians are still hurting financially from the pandemic and Central Florida’s largest city is getting ready to offer help.

On Tuesday, Orlando is set to reopen the portal for its emergency rental assistance program.

Applicants will be able to submit information Tuesday, starting at 8 a.m., for financial assistance, which is being funded with $8.6 million in COVID-19 relief funds from the U.S. Department of Treasury.

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According to the city, qualifying households have to be experiencing or experienced financial hardship due to the virus, have one or more residents at risk of experiencing homelessness or housing instability and have a household income at or below 80% of the area median income, which for a family of four is $61,050.

These payments will be paid directly to the landlord.

For more information on the program, click here.

At the same time, Orange County is set to receive $39 million from the federal government to help with rental assistance, according to Mayor Jerry Demings. The mayor announced the additional federal funds during a news conference last week.

The mayor added that the county may be able to apply the new federal funds differently than before. The current federal program is aimed at reimbursing landlords and the tenant and the landlord must agree ahead of time that the renter will be spared eviction should the landlord receive those funds, according to the mayor.

It is not clear yet how these funds may benefit Orlando’s rental assistance program.

While many are still feeling the effects of the pandemic, Florida is beginning to see some signs of a return to normalcy.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention announced new guidelines last week that fully vaccinated people can ditch their masks in most situations, except for in crowded indoor areas.

This caused many businesses and area theme parks and attractions to adjust their masking policies to fall in line with those new guidelines. You can find many of those new rules here.

[READ YESTERDAY’S REPORT: Florida reports 2,448 new COVID-19 cases as testing ends at Orange County Convention Center]

Find the state-run COVID-19 dashboard below:

Below is a breakdown of Florida COVID-19 data reported by the state on May 17.


The Florida Department of Health reported 1,989 new cases on Monday, bringing the state’s overall total to 2,293,980 cases since the virus was first detected on March 1, 2020.


Florida reported 59 new virus-related deaths Monday, bringing the death toll to 36,857. This number included the 724 non-residents who died in Florida.


As of Monday afternoon, there were currently 2,443 people with the virus hospitalized in Florida, according to the state Agency for Health Care Administration.

Since March 2020, 93,148 people have been hospitalized in Florida after complications from COVID-19. That number includes the 38 new patients who have been recently hospitalized due to the virus, according to the health department’s daily report released on Monday.

Positivity rate

The percent of positive results was 4.42% Sunday out of 45,033 tests. The numbers reported daily by the state reflect test results from the day prior. Health officials say the rate should remain between 5% and 10% to prove a community has a hold of the virus and is curbing infections.


The Florida Department of Health began releasing a daily report in December 2020 on COVID-19 vaccines administered throughout the state.

FDOH reports 7,596,222 people are fully vaccinated against COVID-19. These individuals either received the single-dose Johnson & Johnson vaccine or completed a two-shot series.

As of Monday, 9,608,397 people have received at least one dose of a coronavirus vaccine.

Below is the Central Florida region breakdown of new cases, deaths and hospitalizations for Monday.

CountyCasesNew CasesHospitalizationsNew hospitalizationsDeathsNew deaths

To keep up with the latest news on the pandemic, subscribe to News 6′s coronavirus newsletter and go to ClickOrlando.com/coronavirus.

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