From Orange County Public Information Office
Following is the Orange County news conference live stream and updates
for March 20, 2020:
- Residents must continue to practice social distancing at all times and be mindful of unnecessary trips and social interactions.
- To help ensure public safety measures and encourage social distancing, a daily curfew for Orange County has been implemented (March 20, 2020), effective daily from 11 p.m. through 5 a.m.
- Exemptions for the curfew include essential workers like medical, government and first responders, as well as residents reporting for regular work. The Orange County Sheriff’s Office will enforce this curfew starting March 20, 2020 and moving forward.
COVID-19 Rental Assistance Program:
- Because of the hardship in our community, we are offering a COVID-19 Rental Assistance Program to help those who reside in Orange County.
- This is a one-time benefit for one month’s rent assistance for Orange County residents only.
- Orange County Government has established a Crisis Assistance Hotline at 407-836-6500. Hours, criteria, and additional information can be found in the Resident Recourses tab on ocfl.net/coronavirus.
- Appointments will not be given to Orange County residents who are receiving payment from their employer. You MUST call for an appointment.
- Governor Ron DeSantis has issued an Executive Order that directs all restaurants and food establishments in the state to suspend on-premise food and alcohol for consumption. The listed establishments may, however, operate their kitchens for the purpose of providing delivery or take-out services.
- The Executive Order also requires the closures of gyms and fitness centers within the state.
Anxiety is Normal:
- In times of stress, many times anxiety can overwhelm some of us, and that is understandable and normal. Residents are asked to stay calm, informed and measured as Orange County Governments implements a proactive and planned response.
- Take care of yourself and family – both physically and mentally. Information is power and arms you with the reassurance you need for yourself, loved ones and neighbors.
- Unless you are experiencing severe respiratory distress, such as shortness of breath or chest pain, you SHOULD NOT go to an ER for a COVID-19 test. An ER should only be used for medical emergencies. An influx of unnecessary patients to an ER will overwhelm our hospital systems, and put healthcare workers and other patients at risk.
- If you are sick and exhibiting symptoms, including fever, cough, and shortness of breath, you should seek treatment with your primary care physician or urgent care center. It is recommended that residents call their provider before visiting their clinic.
- Physicians are stringently adhering to the testing criteria set by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention to determine if a patient qualifies for a COVID-19 test. A doctor will likely test you for other illnesses, such as the flu, before ordering a COVID-19 test.
- While hospitals have testing capabilities, the public cannot come in and order their own tests. A physician must order it.
Bars and Restaurants:
- Orange County Government is following the Executive Order provided Florida Governor Ron DeSantis on March 17, 2020. All bars and nightclubs are closed in Orange County for 30 days.
- Residents can report any violations to the Department of Business and Professional Regulation on the Department’s online portal
Community-Based Testing Sites:
- Community-Based Testing Sites will be state-managed and locally executed operations integrated with broader state public health services, which may require varying levels of federal personnel support. The U.S. Dept. of Health and Human Services remains the lead federal agency for the management of the response to COVID-19.
- The Orange County Convention Center has committed to working with local, state and federal partners to provide the Destination Flat Parking Lot at 5980 Destination Pkwy, Orlando, FL 32819, as a drive-through for a Community-Based Testing Site for the Central Florida region. This will not impact business operations and all testing will take place externally. This is a fluid situation in terms of when and exactly where it will open, but we are committed to serving the Central Florida community and will provide more information as details are confirmed with our partners
- Community-Based Testing Sites are only available to those who meet the Department’s criteria for being tested for COVID-19. It is not facility open to anyone who wants to be tested.
Hotels & Community Resources:
- Orange County’s hospitality and tourism industry has been impacted by COVID-19. Many hotels are furloughing employees and cutting back services due to decreased demand.
- Orange County Government will be expanding its Crisis Assistance Program and providing a hotline to help mortgage and rent-stressed households within the County. Details soon to follow.
- Residents are encouraged to visit www.ocfl.net/Coronavirus for a list of community assistance services available in Orange County