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.
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.
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 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.
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.
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.
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