As of Thursday there has been no COVID-19 outbreak reported out of theme parks; tourist tax revenue for July down 77%, but doubled from June to July; face mask mandate is “legal”
From the Orange County Newsroom
In a press briefing on Thursday afternoon, September 3, Orange County officials updated the community on COVID-19, face masks, tourist tax revenues, evictions and more.
Orange County’s two-week positivity average is now at 4.9 percent. However, the County had an increase of 174 positive COVID-19 cases since Wednesday, bringing the cumulative total of positive cases to 36,668.
Since Monday, there have been nine additional resident deaths in the County related to COVID-19. We have now lost 386 residents to the Coronavirus.
COUNTY WINS FACIAL COVERING LAWSUIT
Circuit Court Judge Lisa Munyon has rejected a challenge to the constitutionality of our Orange County Executive Order requiring residents to wear face coverings in public.
The ruling means the mask mandate is legal.
FEDERAL ORDER: TEMPORARY HALT IN EVICTIONS
Tomorrow, September 3, 2020, a federal order will go into effect, placing a temporary ban on residential evictions. That will last until the end of the year. However, this does not mean tenants may stop paying rent if they are able to – that is a misconception.
The federal rent protection order is not automatic. Renters must submit a special document provided by the CDC, among other documents to qualify.
ORANGE COUNTY’S EVICTION DIVERSION PROGRAM
Orange County urges all landlord and tenants apply to our COVID-19 Eviction Diversion program to help those who are rent-stressed, or have already been served documents for a potential eviction.
Since the program opened, more than 1,800 landlords and roughly 1,800 tenants have submitted applications. Pre-screening applications are being processed.
Orange County has approximately $20 million dollars in CARES Act funding for the program. For more information or program details, applicants may call 311, or visit ocfl.net/EvictionDiversion.
NEW COVID-19 TESTING SITE
Orange County Health Services will be at South Orange Youth Sports Complex Friday, September 4, 2020, from 8 a.m. to 1 p.m. to provide free COVID-19 testing. Residents that would like to book an appointment may visit ocfl.net/SouthOrange.
Next week, from Tuesday, September 8 through 11, Orange County Health Services will be in west Orange County at George Bailey Park from 8 a.m. to 1 p.m. The location will serve as a centralized testing location for residents in Winter Garden, Oakland, Windermere and Ocoee.
Appointments are encouraged, but not necessary. Residents that would like to book an appointment may visit ocfl.net/BaileyPark.
All Orange County Health Services sites are pedestrian-friendly and residents 12 and up can be tested with a parent or guardian.
TOURIST DEVELOPMENT TAX REVENUE
Orange County Comptroller Phil Diamond announced that the Tourist development tax (TDT) collections (resort tax) received by Orange County for the July 2020 TDT collection month were $5,158,000. That is a 77.2% decrease from July 2019. However, the July collection is nearly double from June 2020’s TDT when $2,629,400 was collected.
Looking to August’s collections, there are some positive developments. Mainly, there has been a significant decrease in the positivity rate and in the number of new statewide and Central Florida COVID-19 cases. Also, due to the safety measures adopted by the County and the tourism industry, there have been no reported instances of the virus outbreak at the theme parks.