Orange County mayor will allow state of emergency to expire today

Mayor Jerry Demings said the positivity rate has been below 5% for 17 days in a row, bringing it down to 3.5%.

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Orange County Mayor Jerry Demings announced that he will let the local state of emergency expire on Wednesday, Oct. 27 at 3:04 p.m. 

The mayor made the announcement at the most recent COVID-19 update on Wednesday morning.

Demings said his decision to let the state of emergency expire comes after the most recent COVID-19 data emerged for the county. 

The positivity rate has been below 5% for 17 days in a row, bringing it down to 3.5%, according to Demings. 

"Thankfully, due to the high level of vaccinated residents and masks and other safety measures, our numbers have plummeted," he said.

However, the mayor said he recalls that COVID-19 claimed the lives of 410 county residents in August, as the delta variant surged.

He thanked those who have stepped up and been vaccinated since the summer COVID-19 surge.

"You, our community, have demonstrated how much you care for your families, neighbors and community," Demings said. "Your selflessness is why Orange County is such a good place to live."

Even with the state of emergency set to expire, COVID-19 is still taking a toll on many local lives. 

Demings shared that he had come to the COVID-19 update from a funeral for a corrections officer who died from COVID-19. 

Demings said that is why he continues to do everything he can to protect employees and citizens.

"I'm reminded that the battle we've been in with COVID is still real," he said. "I put life, health and safety of our employees and citizens first in our community."

It is now up to employers to decide how they want to keep employees and workers safe, but county workers still need to wear masks, the mayor said. 

While Demings is allowing the state of emergency to expire, he said he will “reserve the right to put the executive order back in place to make sure we do everything possible to slow the spread,” should another wave of infections arise.

The meeting also included an update on a local testing site. 

The county’s testing site at the Econ Soccer Complex will close after Halloween and leave Barnett Park as the county’s sole testing facility.




Annabelle Sikes

News Editor Annabelle Sikes was born in Boca Raton and moved to Orlando in 2018 to attend the University of Central Florida. She graduated from UCF in May 2021 with a bachelor’s degree in journalism and a minor in sociology. Her past journalism experiences include serving as a web producer at the Orlando Sentinel, a reporter at The Community Paper, managing editor for NSM Today, digital manager at Centric Magazine and as an intern for the Orlando Weekly.

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