Orange County task force meets to discuss stopping COVID-19 spread

After more than a year, the Orange County Economic Recovery Task Force is meeting again on Monday after a rise in COVID-19 cases, which last week forced Mayor Jerry Demings to issue and emergency order.

Demings said it was important for the task force to begin meeting once again to find new and creative ways to stop the spread of COVID-19.

“In order for us to build consensus (and) talk about best practices, we need to come together,” said Pastor Roderick Zak, a member of task force.

Zak, from Rejoice in the Lord Ministries, said he’s looking forward to Monday’s meeting.

He said it’s important for the business leaders, the faith-based community and tourism leaders to meet once again to discuss ways to slow the spread of COVID-19.

“Absolutely, it needs tweaking absolutely,” Zak said. “And it’s a reminder of the seriousness of the circumstances.”

Demings called Monday’s meeting after issuing an emergency executive order last week.

That order is urging businesses to require masks and vaccinations for employees and requiring all county employees to get the vaccine by the end of September.

But the order can’t mandate masks because of rules put in place from Gov. Ron DeSantis.

“I want to show our residents and visitors that Orange County is being proactive in lowering the spread of the virus,” Demings said.

Demings said he’s working to reduce new COVID infections without affecting the county’s lucrative tourism industry.

“We know that people came when we had mask mandates, they came, they put on a mask in order to have an experience and do it safely,” Demings said.

You can watch the meeting live on Monday by clicking or tapping here.

About the Author:

Jerry Askin is an Atlanta native who came to News 6 in March 2018 with an extensive background in breaking news.