The situation with the COVID-19 virus continues to change and develop in the United States and around the world.
Recently, we’ve shared updates about the COVID-19 case levels in Florida, the possibility of future approval for a vaccine for those younger than 12, and how the Delta variant could impact your future Disney trips. Now, we’ve got an update from the Orange County, Florida mayor about case rates in the county.
Part of Disney World is located in Orange County, Florida, which is why we’ve been keeping close tabs on case rates in that county and what its mayor has had to say regarding mask recommendations and more.
Earlier today, Mayor Jerry Demings of Orange County, Florida held a press conference regarding COVID-19 case rates in the county. During that conference, Demings noted that “COVID-19 really remains a significant threat to our community” and that, “According to the CDC, Florida, Texas, and Missouri account for 40% of all cases nationwide at this time.” Demings also noted that for the second week in a row, Florida accounts for…1 in 5 new cases, and most of all these new cases are amongst unvaccinated people.
Demings shared that in Orange County, Florida, they are seeing nearly 1,000 new cases daily. Demings noted, “Those are the numbers we saw at the highest peak last year. It took us approximately 1 month last year before we saw 1,000 cases cumulatively here within Orange County. Now we’re seeing them daily.”
Demings then went on to say “we are now in crisis mode.”
In terms of the most recent numbers, Demings shared that Orange County’s 14-day rolling positivity rate remains at double digits, specifically as of Saturday it was 13.96%. He noted that one month ago it was 4.28%. Demings also stated that residents are still getting vaccinated but at a slow pace.
As of the most recent numbers, 61.59% of Orange County residents 12+ have received at least 1 dose of the COVID-19 vaccine.
Demings shared “bottom line is that the Delta variant cases are on the rise.”
Dr. Herrera, the Chief Medical Officer of Advent Health also shared that their hospitals have continued to see an increase in hospitalizations due to COVID-19. He also noted that “over 90% of patients that are in the hospital right now with COVID-19 did not get a COVID-19 vaccine.”
Dr. Pino of Orange County shared that the total number of cases in the county is just over 160,000, and the total number of deaths is 1,388, with ages ranging from 27-85 in terms of those who have passed away.
In terms of mask mandates, Mayor Demings has previously recommended that individuals wear masks indoors and in crowded places. He again noted this and during today’s conference, specifically in reference to the conversations they’ve had with businesses in the county and generally in the context of those businesses’ employees.
Demings said that they are continuing to explore the potential, efficacy, and legality of instituting any type of mask mandate. He noted that there is a high bar that would need to be met. He shared that the next 24-48 hours would be critical to his future decisions.
Note that at this moment, no changes have been made regarding Disney’s mask policy. At the moment, fully vaccinated guests are required to wear masks on Disney transportation, except ferry boats.
There are separate rules and regulations for guests who are not fully vaccinated.
Note that Disney is not asking for proof of vaccination.
While these changes are not taking place in Florida, we did want to note that mask changes have started to take place in some areas of California. In LA County, California, masks are required once again indoors and Universal Studios Hollywood (in California) is once again requiring masks indoors.
We’ll continue to keep an eye out for more updates from Orange County, Florida regarding COVID-19 and let you know what we find.