ORANGE COUNTY, Fla. – There has been a decrease in emergency room visits in Orange County, according to Dr. Raul Pino with the Florida Department of Health in Orange County.
“That’s always the first data that goes in the right direction,” Pino said.
Pino said the next trend is to watch is to see how many cases are reported in the next week. More than 192,000 people have tested positive for the coronavirus in Orange County since the beginning of the pandemic, according to Mayor Jerry Demings.
“For the first time in quite a while now, our new cases are under 1,000 in one day,” Demings said.
Demings said 815 new cases were reported on Wednesday.
“That’s still not a good number, but it is trending in the right direction,” Demings said.
County officials are hoping to get 70% of the county vaccinated. At the moment, 65.53% of residents 12 and older have received at least one dose of the COVID-19 vaccine.
The county shares an updated schedule of county vaccination sites at this link for anyone interested in getting a vaccine. Orange County is also hosting raffle events at several mobile vaccine sites.
Raffle winners will receive free tickets to shows like Jimmy Buffet, J. Cole and college football games.
Earlier on Thursday, the governor stopped in Ormond Beach to open a state-run monoclonal antibody treatment facility, the third in Central Florida. The first in the region was opened at Camping World Stadium in Orlando. Pino said the monoclonal treatments for people who test positive for COVID-19 are adequate when they are provided at the right time to the right individual.
“These [treatments] are not prevention, and the vaccine is there, the vaccine is that prevention,” Pino said.
Officials report 1,462 people have died from the virus in the county — 39 people in the month of August alone. That includes two Orange County employees. Four of the deaths are residents of long-term care facilities.
“I really applaud the decision of the federal government to make it mandatory for employees of [nursing comes] to be vaccinated,” Pino said.
Several businesses in Orange County have told the mayor they are requiring their employees to get vaccinated.
“Thank you to those businesses who are helping us move the needle with the rate of vaccinations,” Demings said.
Demings mentioned anyone who is eligible for a third dose of the COVID-19 vaccine should see if their pharmacy has them available.
Anyone interested in getting a COVID-19 test in Orange County can find a location at this link.