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Orlando To Roll Out Rental Assistance Program; Orange County Hopes To Have Rapid Tests For Schools This Week

Orlando Mayor Buddy Dyer speaks to media during a briefing on Monday August 31st. Screenshot: Orange TV
Orlando Mayor Buddy Dyer speaks to media during a briefing on Monday August 31st. Screenshot: Orange TV

Orlando is rolling out a new rental assistance program for residents affected by the recession. 

Speaking at a briefing Monday with Orange County leaders, Mayor Buddy Dyer said the city will use $1.5 million  in CARES Act funding to partner with Heart of Florida United Way on the program. 

“These grants will be for city residents, they will be up to $10,000 per household to pay past due rent and late fees," said Dyer.

"We estimate we’ll be able to help out close to 300 families.”

Dyer said the city council will vote on the program next Tuesday. 

Rapid tests should be available for OCPS this week

The Florida Department of Health in Orange County is working to get rapid coronavirus tests available for schools by the end of this week. 

The Health Officer for the DOH in Orange County, Dr. Raul Pino said the contract has been signed by both the state and the company set to deliver the tests. 

“And delivery should be happening. So we continue to be optimistic that we could have it this week if things move the way that they should.”

Pino said there are 30 confirmed COVID-19 cases in students and 23 cases among staff in Orange County Public Schools. 

Of the confirmed cases among students, 16 were added since the beginning of face-to-face instruction. 

One hundred forty three students and staff have been placed in quarantine. 

County cases moving in the right direction, says Demings

The county's coronavirus cases are trending in the right direction according to Mayor Jerry Demings. On Monday, the Florida Department of Health reported fewer than two thousand new cases statewide.

Demings said the numbers for the county are ticking down as well.

“Orange County now has 57 coronavirus cases per 100,000 residents. It is the lowest number of cases per 100,000 that we’ve seen since June, so that’s relatively good news for our community," said Demings.

He said last week the county saw 799 new cases- the first time in the last eleven weeks that the weekly new case count has fallen below 1,000. 

Some 35,902 coronavirus cases have been reported in Orange County since the start of the pandemic.