ORANGE COUNTY, Fla. – Orange County Mayor Jerry Demings provided a COVID-19 update Wednesday afternoon during the county’s 137th coronavirus briefing.
Demings was joined by Dr. Raul Pino from the Florida Department of Health in Orange County, Orange County Emergency Manager Lauraleigh A. Avery and Chief Judge Donald A. Myers Jr.
Demings began the briefing with positive news about the containment of COVID-19′s spread within the county.
“For the past 25 days, our 14-day rolling positivity rate has remained below 5%. Today our rolling positivity rate is a low 3.7%, which is really just great news,” Demings said.
The mayor added that 55.44% of the county’s 12 and older population has received at least one dose of a COVID-19 vaccine. He stressed that the county’s testing and vaccination site at Barnett Park remains open seven days a week with the ability to test 800 people and vaccinate 300. The mayor added that the “I got my shot” mobile vaccine trailer is also still making the rounds in Orange County.
“On Friday afternoon of this week, the mobile trailer will be in the Hunter’s Creek area at a Sabores Bakery on South Orange Blossom Trail, between 2 p.m. and 6 p.m.,” Demings said. “(On Saturday) the trailer will be at Barker Park (in Orlando) between the hours of 10 a.m. and 2 p.m.”
Pino also stressed the importance of people getting vaccinated. He said the county is now seeing more people getting second-dose shots than first-dose shots.
The doctor warned about the delta variant of the coronavirus.
“That seems to be even more aggressive,” he said. “And it seems to be affecting younger, more than before.”
He added that the delta variant has not been detected yet in Orange County, but said that it was more motivation to get the younger population vaccinated, especially as more children will be back in the classroom next school year.
“To give you an idea of where our concern is coming from, our residents 12 to 17, we have only vaccinated with at least one dose 31,247. That is only 29% of the population and that needs to increase rapidly before we go into the school year,” Pino said.
Last week, Pino announced a pilot program, set to end Friday, was underway at the Orlando International Airport to vaccinate those arriving at the airport. The site is located near the arriving flights, which Pino said was intentional since the doses are mostly meant for Central Florida residents and those who work at the airport.
Pino said the Florida Department of Health plans to continue offering those services at the airport, but could not say yet whether health department staff would operate it or if those services would be contracted out.
“It has picked up steam. They started with 60 a day — now they are doing 300, 400 a day,” he said.
Orange County Public Schools has moved to holding vaccine events at middle and high schools over the summer in an effort to vaccinate more students ahead of the upcoming school year. The district is still working to decide whether masks will be voluntary for the upcoming school year.