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Mask Mandate May Be Having An Impact On New Cases- Dr. Raul Pino

Dr. Raul Pino (r) briefs the media. Image: Orange TV
Dr. Raul Pino (r) briefs the media. Image: Orange TV

The Florida Department of Health’s health officer for Orange County, Dr. Raul Pino, says Orange County’s mask mandate may be having an impact on the spread of coronavirus. 

In a press conference Monday, Pino said the addition of just 345 new cases- and an overall positive test rate of 12.3 % is a positive sign.

"Although we don't want to be complacent about it, or give you false hope, it could be that the data is starting to indicate a little bit of the results of mandating the mask," said Pino.

He said the county has enough hospital capacity to deal with a surge in patients. 

Seminole County has joined Orange and Osceola Counties in making it mandatory to wear a face mask in public. Seminole County’s mask order takes effect Wednesday. Brevard County commissioners will vote on a mask order  on Tuesday. 

Orange County breaks 10,000 case mark

Orange County has now had 10,014 coronavirus cases with 57 deaths from COVID-19.

"We had no idea that we would reach this point, certainly not as quickly as we have within the month of June itself," said mayor Jerry Demings.

Demings also noted the lower daily number of positive cases reported at last count.

"While it is a triple digit increase, there's a bit of good news here, in that we have seen day over day increases of 900,  a thousand-plus for the last several days of this past week. So when we saw 343, that's the lowest number at least in a week or so," said Demings.

He said it was important for residents to adhere to social distancing guidelines and mask requirements as July 4th approaches.

Orlando switches July 4th  fireworks display for 'virtual fireworks'

Orlando Mayor Buddy Dyer also urged residents to keep following social distancing guidelines and wear masks to stop the spread of coronavirus. Dyer said now is not the time for complacency. 

“These simple face coverings are probably our most critical tool right now in terms of battling the virus and it's not about politics. It's about the health and safety of our community.” 

The July 4th fireworks- which typically attract a crowd of more than 100 thousand to Lake Eola Park- will be replaced with a virtual, televised fireworks display.

Dyer said he wants to avoid a repeat of Memorial Day when health experts say large gatherings triggered the latest surge in coronavirus cases.  

Dyer said the city will continue to offer mobile testing at new sites weekly. This Wednesday testing is available at the James R Smith Neighborhood Center and next week at Camping World Stadium.