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Orange Co. reports decrease percentage of viral COVID remnants in wastewater; rental assistance still available; Magical Dining Month details

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From the Orange County Newsroom

As of Sunday, September 12, 2021, the Florida Department of Health is reporting that Orange County’s 14-day rolling positivity rate is 13.31 percent. Additional County statistics include:

CDC level of community transmission: HIGH

Eligible residents (12+) who have one vaccine dose: 71 percent

Eligible residents (12+) who have completed their vaccination series: 57.23 percent

Total positive cases for Orange County residents: 218,984

Total deaths in Orange County: 1,780

EMERGENCY RENTAL ASSISTANCE

The U.S. Supreme Court ended the CDC Eviction Moratorium on Thursday, August 26, 2021.

If the COVID-19 pandemic has caused your family to struggle with rent, or if you are facing eviction, you are not alone. If your household is behind on rent payments, Orange County’s Emergency Rental Assistance program may be able to help. Eligible residents can receive up to 12 months of past due rent, and up to one month of future rent, up to a total of $20,000. As of today, $8.5 million have been distributed to keep 1,508 families in their homes.

Residents can visit ocfl.net/RentalAssistance to review program details, required documents, frequently asked questions and to check if their address is eligible.

COVID-19 WASTEWATER MONITORING

Orange County Government’s Utilities Department continues its participation in the National Wastewater Surveillance System. The program monitors wastewater from water reclamation facilities to analyze the concentration and spread of the coronavirus.

Current samples were included in beta testing for four additional mutations and two new variants of the Coronavirus. Based on that testing, the Lambda and Mu variants were not detected in any of their service areas.

Below is the latest information:

Northwest Water Reclamation Facility - APOPKA

Concentrations have increased from 154,243 in June to 990,970 on September 9

542 percent increase over the number of viral remnants in June. However this is a drop in percentage from last reporting on August 29, which was at 945% increase over June's numbers.

NOTE: The Apopka Voice reached out to the Orange County Utilities Department on August 13, 2021 and spoke with Sarah Lux, the Public Information Officer regarding COVID-19 in the wastewater. Specifically we asked if a person could get COVID-19 via the reclaimed water, and she answered "No - no virus remains in the water after it is treated." She went on to explain that even the raw wastewater only has "dead, non-viable fragments" of COVID-19, which, even in the raw form would not transmit the virus to people. She explained that the raw wastewater is then "heavily treated" and is "extremely clean", so not even the dead, non-viable fragments are in the water by the time it gets to a property to be used as reclaimed water for irrigation.

OTHER LOCATIONS:

South Water Reclamation Facility

Concentrations have increased from 149,113 in May to 804,578 on September 9; this is a 440 percent increase over the number of viral remnants in May

East Water Reclamation Facility

Concentrations have increased from 267,916 in May to 1,508,714 on September 9; this is a 463 percent increase over the number of viral remnants in May

COVID-19 TESTING – OPERATIONS REMINDER

As a reminder, the testing site at Econ Soccer Complex will now operate from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Testing sites at the former Clarcona Elementary School and Barnett Park will remain operational from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Testing will take place seven days a week at all site unless otherwise noted.

Former site of Clarcona Elementary School in APOPKA

3607 Damon Rd, Apopka, FL 32703

Open daily from 9 a.m. – 5 p.m., or until capacity is reached

No walk-ups, only four (4) persons per vehicle

Econ Soccer Complex

8035 Yates Road, Orlando, FL 32807

Open daily from 9 a.m. – 4 p.m., or until capacity is reached

No walk-ups, only four (4) persons per vehicle

Barnett Park

4801 W Colonial Drive, Orlando, FL 32808

Open daily from 9 a.m. – 5 p.m., or until capacity is reached

No walk-ups, only four (4) persons per vehicle

For additional COVID-19 testing locations, please visit ocfl.net/Testing.

COVID-19 VACCINATIONS CONTINUE

Orange County Health Services Department continues to offer free drive-thru COVID-19 vaccines – Pfizer and Moderna – at Camping World Stadium. Vaccines are available for individuals 12 year old and up receiving their first or second dose only. Minors must have a legal guardian present during time of vaccination.

Camping World Stadium

1 Citrus Bowl Place, Orlando, FL 32805

Open daily from 9 a.m. – 5 p.m., or until capacity is reached

No appointments needed, only four (4) persons per vehicle

For more information or additional COVID-19 vaccine locations, please visit ocfl.net/VaccineSites.

VISIT ORLANDO MAGICAL DINING

Visit Orlando’s annual Magical Dining Month continues until Sunday, October 17, 2021. Guests can support some of Orange County’s best restaurants by purchasing a three-course, prix-fixe dinner for $37 per person. Additionally, through Visit Orlando, $1 from each meal served will benefit Pathlight HOME and IDignity, both of which help to combat homelessness in Central Florida.

Many restaurants will have open-air seating options, as well as takeout and delivery service. For more information or a list of participating restaurants, visit OrlandoMagicalDining.com

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