Photo by Bruce Mars

From the Orange County Newsroom

Mayor Jerry Demings of Orange County shared the latest update from Governor Ron DeSantis on Thursday that COVID-19 vaccinations would be open to 40+ next week, and 18+ the week following. Demings continued with COVID news, sharing that Orange County would continue to provide free testing throughout April, new FEMA sites, and continued mental health support for those struggling with pandemic related issues.

STATEWIDE VACCINE ELIGIBILITY CRITERIA

Governor Ron DeSantis announced on Thursday that the state of Florida would lower the eligible age for COVID-19 vaccinations.

  • Monday, March 29, 2021 — FL residents 40+ will be eligible to receive the COVID-19 vaccine
  • Monday, April 5, 2021 — FL residents 18+ will be eligible to receive the vaccine

As a reminder, come Monday March 29, 2021, there will be several location options for eligible residents 40 and up to receive a COVID-19 vaccine, including the Orange County Convention Center, Federal Retail Pharmacies, FEMA Vaccination Site at Valencia College West Campus, other FEMA sites, etc.

For more information about COVID-19 vaccine efforts in Orange County, visit ocfl.net/Vaccine.

APPOINTMENTS AVAILABLE: CONVENTION CENTER DRIVE-THRU VACCINATION SITE

The Florida Department of Health in Orange County will reopen appointments for the Drive-Thru Vaccination Site at the Orange County Convention Center on Monday, March 29, 2021, at 9 a.m.

The site will expand its total capacity to provide 3,400 vaccinations per day. For a list of all eligible individuals, please visit ocfl.net/vaccineFAQs.

Additionally, to assist residents, Orange County Government has following resources for COVID-19 vaccination:

FEMA VACCINATION HUB AT VALENCIA WEST

Earlier this week, the Florida Division of Emergency Management announced that the federally-supported vaccination sites at Valencia College West Campus will continue to administer first doses of the vaccine from March 24, 2021, through April 7, 2021. After that date, the Florida Division of Emergency Management will assess the community’s needs.

Orange County urges interested residents to arrive early to receive their vaccination, as daily capacity limits for first dose walk-ups are reached quickly.

  • Valencia College West Campus (FEMA Vaccination Hub): 1800 S Kirkman Road, Orlando, FL 32811
  • 7 day per week, open at 7 a.m., (or until supply is out) walk-ups only

Visit ocfl.net/Vaccine.

ADDITIONAL FEMA VACCINATION SITE

  • Orange County Library South Trail Branch: 4600 S Orange Blossom Trail, Orlando, FL 32839
  • 7 day per week, open at 9 a.m., walk-ups only

For additional vaccinations sites in Orange County, visit ocfl.net/Vaccine.

TESTING EXTENDED THROUGHOUT APRIL

Providing free testing for residents continues to be a priority for Orange County Health Services. Testing at Barnett Park runs through April 30, 2021. Residents are encouraged to get a test if they have been exposed to anyone with COVID-19. Testing is essential in helping contain the spread of the virus.

  • Barnett Park (Both PCR/molecular and rapid testing): 4801 W Colonial Drive, Orlando, FL 32808
  • 7 days per week, 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.

For more information, visit ocfl.net/Testing.

ORANGECONNECTS: GET CONNECTED TO LOCAL BEHAVIORAL AND MENTAL HEALTH PROFESSIONAL

Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, many individuals have reported an increase level of stress or anxiety. It is important to be mindful of your own personal needs to ensure a safe and healthy lifestyle.

To help residents achieve this, Orange County Government has launched its OrangeConnects Program, developed by mental health experts in Orange County’s Community and Family Services Department.

The program is a confidential, free web-based navigation platform that connects residents with behavior/mental health providers in their area. The online tool will ask a short list of questions about the resident’s thoughts and feelings, and then matches them to a list of providers who specialize in supporting those needs.

Orange Connects is for any resident experiencing difficulties and can help with:

  • Sadness
  • Feeling anxious or stressed
  • Not eating or sleeping
  • Inability to focus
  • Scary thoughts or dreams
  • Problems with a child’s behavior
  • Feeling angry
  • Using drugs or alcohol too much
  • Difficulty paying attention
  • Difficulty getting things done
  • Feeling that you don’t want to live any longer
  • needing support related to your gender or sexuality
  • Anything else that is bothering you

For more information, visit ocfl.net/OrangeConnects.

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