Orange County Mayor Jerry Demings announced a countywide curfew due to the threat of COVID-19 in a press conference Friday afternoon.
The curfew will affect Orange County, Florida, and it will run between the hours of 11 p.m. and 5 a.m. starting Friday night. The Orange County Sheriff’s Office will be enforcing the curfew until further notice.
“Please be mindful of this curfew, and only go out if you are required to do so for work,” Demings said during the press conference.
Other individuals allowed to be out during curfew include medical personnel, government personnel, first responders and security personnel.
Orange County Public Information Officer Despina McLaughlin said in a Saturday email the intention is not to arrest individuals.
“It is just intended to limit the unnecessary interactions to try and decrease potential spread of the virus,” McLaughlin said in the email. “Even though bars and clubs are closed, people will still gather. If you are going to work or have a purposeful visit or reason for going somewhere needed, you will be fine.”
The decision to enact a countywide curfew came after the number of Orange County COVID-19 cases rose to 22, Demings said.
Two individuals died from COVID-19 in Orange County at the time of publication. The current number of positive cases in Orange County is 23 after the 6 p.m. update, according to Florida’s COVID-19 Data and Surveillance Dashboard.
“Certainly, America and the state of Florida and our local communities remain in this state of crisis, and we are likely to remain in this state for the foreseeable future,” Demings said during the press conference. “If we do what we can do individually to protect ourselves and our families, then we’ll be able to stop the spread of this virus.”
There are currently 563 COVID-19 cases in the state of Florida, at the time of publication.
“Orange County continues to work collaboratively with public and private organizations, as well as regional, state and federal leaders, to navigate this rapidly changing public health crisis,” said Orange County Public Information Officer Despina McLaughlin at the press conference.
It was also announced at the press conference that a COVID-19 testing site will be made available to those who “show specific signs, have underlying indicators where you have a compromised health immune system and other specific symptoms,” Demings said.
This testing site will be made available at the Orange County Convention Center parking lot, and another site is expected to be made available in East Orange County at a later date.
Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis issued an executive order Friday suspending dining in at restaurants and enforcing the closure of gymnasiums and fitness centers. Restaurants remain able to fulfill delivery and takeout orders.
This is a developing story. Check back for updates.