COVID-19 testing at Barnett Park closes after reaching capacity


WESH 2 Orlando 20 July, 2021 - 04:25pm 27 views

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Testing for COVID-19 at Barnett Park has closed after reaching its daily capacity. Testing will reopen on Wednesday at 9 a.m.

The increase in cases in Orange County has also brought people to Barnett Park for an increase in testing.

On Monday, Orange County's 14-day positivity rate sat at 11.2%, tripled from three weeks ago. Officials say 61% of Orange County residents over the age of 12 have received at least one dose of the COVID-19 vaccination, but that's far from the herd immunity 70% desired.

With the spike, Orange County Mayor Jerry Demings has strongly recommended vaccinated and unvaccinated people wear masks inside in crowded places.

CAPACITY REACHED: Orange County just closed off the line at the free COVID testing site at Barnett Park after massive lines spilled onto Colonial Drive and wait times reached 4 hours. People tell us their concern about the Delta variant & spike in cases caused them to get tested

"If you are not vaccinated, now is the time to do so," Demings said. "I wish there was more I could do to protect you. But you hold the key to your own destiny. You can protect yourselves by simply getting vaccinated."

Vaccinations are still available at the Barnett Park testing location.

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Read full article at WESH 2 Orlando

Leaders urge residents to get vaccinated as cases rise in Orange County

WKMG News 6 ClickOrlando 20 July, 2021 - 04:00pm

Barnett Park COVID-19 testing site closes early again as cases are on the rise

WKMG News 6 & ClickOrlando 20 July, 2021 - 03:29pm

Many cars were lined up early Tuesday morning to get a coronavirus test as recent cases continue to grow and by 2 p.m. the site was forced to close early after reaching capacity.

Jadiel Hernandez lined up at 7 a.m. and said he needed to get a test before traveling to Puerto Rico later this week.

“Yup, there’s a lot of people but it’s better than how it was before,” Hernandez said.

On Monday, the site also closed early after Orange County reported it had reached capacity for testing. The site opens at 9 a.m. daily for testing and vaccines.

Barnett Park testing site coordinator Daniella Sullivan said the demand for testing is similar to what the site experienced over the Thanksgiving holiday.

To accommodate for the testing, the coordinator at the site said they had to reduce the number of lanes for vaccinations to make room for testing.

“Right now, I only have one vaccine tent because the demand for vaccination is so low compared to the amount of testing today,” Sullivan said. “Today we have three tents fully dedicated to testing and one tent dedicated to vaccination.”

Shervin Briscoe tried getting a COVID-19 test Monday since he’s flying to Jamaica this week but had to leave.

“The line yesterday was rough. I came here yesterday and left,” Briscoe said.

On Monday, Orange County leaders explained COVID-19 cases are on the rise and reported about 2,000 cases over the weekend.

Capacity at Central Florida hospitals continues to increase as well. Orlando Regional Medical Center is at 97% capacity, Advent Health Orlando was at 93% capacity and Halifax Health in Daytona Beach was at 55% capacity as of Monday night.

Health officials stressed most of the cases are people who haven’t been vaccinated.

Dr. Raul Pino, from the Florida Department of Health in Orange County, said the county is now seeing new COVID-19 cases in numbers similar to what was seen in January which is when Florida saw its highest peak of new cases.

Esther Amill, who brought her cousin from Puerto Rico to get tested at Barnett Park, said she is worried about things getting worse in Orange County.

“Until the virus is completely gone, which I don’t think is gonna be completely gone just like the flu, but you know we really, really need to mitigate all the dangers of it,” Amill said.

Sullivan recommends those who need a COVID-19 test arrive early in the day.

The Barnett Park testing site will reopen open until Aug. 31.

Copyright 2021 by WKMG ClickOrlando - All rights reserved.

Ezzy Castro is a multimedia journalist on News 6's morning team who has a passion for telling the stories of the people in the Central Florida community. Ezzy worked at WFOR CBS4 in South Florida and KBMT in Beaumont, Texas, where she covered Hurricane Harvey in 2017. Being from Miami, Ezzy loves Cuban coffee and croquetas!

Copyright © 2021 is managed by Graham Digital and pubished by Graham Media Group, a division of Graham Holdings.

95% of COVID patients hospitalized in Orange County are unvaccinated, OC health officials say

KABC-TV 20 July, 2021 - 02:24pm

95% of COVID patients hospitalized in OC are unvaccinated

Los Angeles County official Dr. Christina Ghaly says unvaccinated people now account for all COVID-19 hospitalizations at county-run hospitals.

'Public health crisis': COVID-19 positivity rate growing in Orange County, officials say

WESH 2 Orlando 20 July, 2021 - 04:48am

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It is happening again. Orange County's rolling COVID-19 positivity rate is in the double digits.

Leaders say the infection rate has tripled from just three weeks ago.

A new vaccination site opened on Tuesday.

RELATED: Demings says 'now is the time' to be vaccinated as new COVID-19 cases soar

County leaders are urging everyone to get their COVID-19 vaccines.

The vaccination site that opened on Tuesday is just one of many where locals can go ahead and do that.

Orange County Mayor Jerry Demings is also asking everyone to mask up, especially when in crowded places. He says people should wear a mask whether they are vaccinated or not.

Mayor Demings said he's asking businesses to voluntarily comply with the recommendation, and wishes there was more he could do.

"I wish that there is more that I could do to protect you. However, you hold the key to your own destiny during this public health crisis," Mayor Demings said.

WESH 2 News was told that all of the new COVID-19 related deaths in the county are people who didn't get their shots.

Meanwhile, the demand for testing and vaccinations is going back up.

Some sites have been reaching full capacity in recent days.

The vaccination site at Orlando Health opened at 7 a.m.

No appointment is necessary, but pre-registration is recommended.

Hearst Television participates in various affiliate marketing programs, which means we may get paid commissions on purchases made through our links to retailer sites.

Orange County mayor asks businesses to require face masks again

FOX 35 Orlando 20 July, 2021 - 04:38am

Orange County Mayor Jerry Demings is asking businesses to once again require face masks indoors as COVID-19 cases continue to rise in the county.

Orange County Mayor Jerry Demings is asking businesses to once again require face masks indoors as COVID-19 cases continue to rise in the county.

Health officials said new COVID cases in Orange County are back to what they were in January. The 14-day rolling positivity rate is 11.2 percent compared to 4.28 percent three weeks ago.

"That is nearly triple what we were experiencing three weeks ago," Mayor Demings said during a news conference Monday morning. The total positive COVID cases in Orange County is 154,674.

He is also encouraging business owners to require customers to wear masks indoors again, regardless of their vaccination status. An executive order by Governor Ron DeSantis prevents Mayor Demings from instituting a mask mandate, but Demings is calling on businesses to do it voluntarily.

Evan Dimov, the owner of "Too Much Sauce" restaurant, said he is confused by the different guidelines and suggestions from the local, state, and federal governments and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. 

"Just give me one rule to follow and I’ll follow," Dimov said.

Dimov said he is afraid of losing business if he requires customers to wear face masks indoors again. He said he asks unvaccinated customers and staff to wear masks.

"Some people might just not want to wear a mask and what am I going to do, lose those customers? I cannot afford to lose customers right now. We came way too far to go back this way."

Mayor Demings is also still encouraging people to get vaccinated. Officials said of the nearly 2,000 people who tested positive for COVID in Orange County from Friday-Sunday none of them were vaccinated against COVID.

"We cannot emphasize enough the need for residents to get vaccinated from this deadly disease."

Mayor Demings announced the COVID vaccination and testing site at Barnett Park will remain open seven days a week from 9 a.m.- 5 p.m. through the end of August.

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Orange County seeing COVID-19 numbers similar to January, health department says

WKMG News 6 & ClickOrlando 19 July, 2021 - 04:45pm

“Today, in Orange County we have reported 517 new cases from just yesterday alone. We have seen the numbers as high as 700 plus over this past weekend. All of these cases were unvaccinated individuals,” Demings said.

Dr. Raul Pino, from the Florida Department of Health in Orange County, said Monday that the county is now seeing new COVID-19 cases in numbers similar to what was seen in January which is when the state saw its highest peak of new cases.

“With regard to age, it continues to be 15 to 44 years old. That’s what we have the highest number of cases,” Pino said. “And that’s probably where we have also the lowest vaccination rates.”

Pino has said for several weeks that each new infection is a chance for the virus to mutate again and create a variant that is even more infectious than the delta variant, which is currently the dominant strain in the U.S.

“Variants could get more aggressive. We could see more damages coming down if we don’t take the steps that we need to take,” Pino said. “And it rests on every single individual, right now that is unvaccinated, to make that decision (to get inoculated).”

The rising number of cases extends beyond Orange County to the entire state. On Friday, the state released its weekly report detailing where Florida stands with new infections, deaths and vaccinations. The report showed the state had averaged 6,515 new infections report per day in the previous week. The report before that showed Florida had averaged about 3,380 cases per day.

The mayor reiterated his recommendation that all county residents, both vaccinated and unvaccinated, return to wearing facial coverings while in crowded indoor locations.

“My appeal relates to the businesses as well. We ask our businesses to voluntarily comply with this recommendation that you seriously consider requiring those who patronize and your businesses to wear facial coverings,” Demings said.

On Friday, the mayor told News 6 that the county was “exploring all options” when it comes to stemming the rising tide of new infections. This included legal options that the county could take to enact a state of emergency. However, the mayor now says the bar may be too high for the county or any local government to make such a declaration.

The law that the mayor was referring to is SB 1924, which the governor signed in May. It took effect on July 1 and requires emergency orders to come in 7-day increments and local governments must “satisfy demanding and continuous justifications” for those orders to extend further, but only to a maximum of 42 days. It also gives the Florida governor the power to invalidate a local emergency order.

“Any such mandates will have to be narrowly tailored and based on data and cannot infringe on individual or business rights. However, the state controls the data and therein lies part of the problem. We simply can’t reach that high legal bar,” Demings said.

The county’s attorney, Jeffrey J. Newton, echoed the mayor’s understanding of the restrictions on local governments.

“In this past legislative session, the legislature approved amendments to the Emergency Management Act. And those amendments were approved by the governor, as well,’ Newton said. “And part of that act requires that any mandate, dealing with a pandemic, or I should say a non-weather related emergency, must be narrowly tailored and not infringe upon the rights, or liberties of individuals or businesses, and that is a very, very high legal standard, It’s almost, at least in my opinion, an insurmountable standard.”

Copyright 2021 by WKMG ClickOrlando - All rights reserved.

Thomas Mates is a digital storyteller for News 6 and He also produces the podcast Florida Foodie. Thomas is originally from Northeastern Pennsylvania and worked in Portland, Oregon before moving to Central Florida in August 2018. He graduated from Temple University with a degree in Journalism in 2010.

Copyright © 2021 is managed by Graham Digital and pubished by Graham Media Group, a division of Graham Holdings.

Orange County, Florida Mayor Asks Businesses to Require Masks Indoors Again - WDW News Today 19 July, 2021 - 10:54am

Jerry Demings, Mayor of Orange County, Florida, is asking businesses to require masks once again indoors and in crowded spaces regardless of vaccination status.

The Orange County Health Department has reported a rise in COVID-19 cases recently. In the past three weeks, Orange County’s 14-day rolling positivity rate has increased from 4.28% to 11.2%, the highest rate since January. Yesterday, the positivity rate was above 16%. Mask guidelines were initially rolled back when the positivity rate was below 5%.

Vaccination rates have slowed as well. Currently, 61.2% of eligible Orange County residents have been vaccinated. Florida accounts for approximately 20% of the U.S.A.’s COVID-19 cases, though the state only makes up 6.5% of the country’s population.

Currently, Walt Disney World and Universal Orlando Resort ask that guests who have not been vaccinated continue to wear masks, but do not check vaccination status. Masks are optional for vaccinated guests.

Orange County can no longer mandate COVID-19 restrictions due to legislation by Florida Governor Ron DeSantis.

As always, keep following WDWNT for all of your Disney Parks news, and for the absolute latest, follow WDW News Today on Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram.


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