ORANGE COUNTY, Fla. — For the first time in months, Orange County’s coronavirus percent positivity rate is back in the double digits.
What You Need To Know
- The COVID-19 positivity rate in Orange County is back in the double digits
- Health officials say the increase is made up almost completely of unvaccinated people
- The current COVID-19 positivity rate is 11.2%
Health officials say this is now being considered a pandemic of the unvaccinated, because those are the people making up almost all of the new cases and deaths.
While health officials say they’re glad people are getting in line for testing, they’re concerned about the lack of people in line for vaccinations.
Barnett Park bustled with cars waiting to enter one of four tents.
The site has been averaging about 1,200 COVID-19 tests per day, but on Sunday, only about 100 COVID-19 vaccinations were given.
On Tuesday, a mobile vaccination site will be available at the Goodwill on Goldenrod Road in Orlando.
“There is an increase in the circulation of the virus, an increase in new infections, and more transmission that is occurring within our community," said Alvina Chu, Chief of the Division of Infectious Diseases for the Florida Department of Health in Orange County.
Chu said the 11.2% positivity rate being seen in Orange County, unfortunately, checks out.
“One question is, is this a summer thing or is this a seasonal?" Chu said. "And it’s not really a summer or a seasonal thing, it’s really a post- ‘everyone get together in large groups without using your good pandemic precautions’ kind of thing."
She’s talking about the Fourth of July holiday, where she suspects a lot of the new case data came from.
But Chu said it’s yet another example of why people need to get vaccinated, and why 14-year-old Victor Ceaoffi and his family are in Orlando on vacation.
“Brazil, I live in Brazil," said Ceaoffi.
He got a vaccine he says he couldn’t have gotten back home.
“I love basketball and now I can play with no worry," he said.
That feeling of relief is something health officials, like Chu, wish would translate to more vaccines in people who call Florida home.
“We know that the virus will find people who are unvaccinated and infect them," she said.
Orange County Mayor Jerry Demings is recommending everyone — vaccinated or not — to wear a mask inside when it is crowded.
And he is even encouraging businesses to put up signs, to wear a mask inside.
The county’s health officer, meanwhile, is taking things a step further.
“You have the ability to mandate if you want for masks to be used in your premises. My advice is you either highly recommend that people use masks in your businesses or that you make it a mandate, taking into consideration that it’s a highly transmissible variant out there and we have a high number of cases,” said Dr. Raul Pino.
Health officials also said the state of Florida currently holds about one in every five new reported coronavirus cases in the United States.
Reporter Rebecca Turco contributed to this story.