COVID-19 community immunity in Orange County continues to increase

Dr. Alvina Chu says cases, positivity rate going down

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ORANGE COUNTY, Fla. – Orange County is officially within the “orange” category when it comes to the level of COVID-19 risk level and spread found throughout the region.

Demings started off Thursday’s news conference by thanking the county and health officials who helped the community achieve this lower level of COVID-19 transmission, something that could bring the end of the local state of emergency as early as next week.

Since April 2020, county officials have administered more than 460,000 COVID-19 tests, and since the vaccine became available in December 2020, more than 1.7 million doses of the vaccine, Demings said.

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“I’d like to... recognize our Orange County Health Services team for the incredible way they have come together and leading the massive effort to keep our residents safe and help,” Demings said.

Dr. Alvina Chu, who works with the Florida Department of Health in Orange County, continued that there have been a total of 230,300 cases and 2,126 deaths within the county.

She said, for the third consecutive day, the 14-day positivity rate continues to be at or near 5%.

Chu reported 36 new deaths since Monday’s news conference. Of the 36 deaths, eight were fully vaccinated, two were partially vaccinated and 26 were unvaccinated.

While Orange County saw its deadliest month in August 2021, Chu said she expects a downward trend in the number of deaths to follow the decline in cases.

“The deaths are a lagging indicator, meaning that the trends of it follow at least a month, or a little bit longer. (This is) partly because of reporting and partly because... people will get ill, potentially over long periods of time,” Chu said.

Even though the county is officially in the orange category, officials still urged the public to continue washing their hands frequently, covering their coughs and sneezes and keeping their distance.

“I think vigilance is important,” Chu continued. “The key, basic things that prevent infectious diseases that we promote as pandemic precautions are the same key, preventive measures for all infectious diseases.”

About the Author:

Samantha started at WKMG-TV in September 2020. Before joining the News 6 team, Samantha was a political reporter for The Villages Daily Sun and has had freelance work featured in the Evansville Courier-Press and The Community Paper. When not writing, she enjoys travelling and performing improv comedy.