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Orange County update: Hyatt not to blame for mask failures at CPAC; expanded vaccinations beginning Wednesday

Orange County health officer Dr. Raul Pino is shown speaking during a press briefing in 2021. Image: Orange County video
Orange County health officer Dr. Raul Pino is shown speaking during a press briefing in 2021. Image: Orange County video

Orange County Mayor Jerry Demings says the hotel where the Conservative Political Action Conference met did its very best to comply with COVID-19 restrictions.

Demings says the city has so far conducted more than 9,000 inspections and 99 percent of businesses have been in compliance.

The Hyatt Regency, site of the CPAC convention, had a safety plan in place. The mayor says it tried to make sure guests followed the rules.

"Signs were posted throughout the hotel and announcements were made to make sure the attendees were aware of the masking order," Demings said. "However, we know that some of the attendees were non-compliant."

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Demings thanked the staff at the Hyatt for their efforts, adding that attendees not wearing masks did so “at their own peril.” 

Expanded vaccinations to be available at Convention Center, FEMA site

Teachers, police officers and firefighters 50 and older will be able to receive coronavirus vaccines at the Orange County Convention Center and FEMA sites under the governor's new executive order.

Orange County health director Dr. Raul Pino says they'll be able to sign up for appointments beginning Wednesday, after the registration website is reconfigured.

If you qualify, go ahead and pre-register, he says.

"Go through the process, register yourself, enter all the information," Pino said. "When it opens, potentially on Wednesday morning, you just have to click and make the appointment. It will make it a lot easier. "

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The seven-day-a-week FEMA site opens Wednesday at the Valencia College West Campus.

FEMA will have satellite locations at the Englewood Center and St. Cloud Civic Center this week.

Next week, the outreach effort will move to Kelly Park in Apopka and the Sebring Ball Field.

Those smaller sites, in underserved communities, will accept walk-ins.

Joe Byrnes came to WMFE/WMFV from the Ocala Star-Banner and The Gainesville Sun, where he worked as a reporter and editor for several years. Joe graduated from Loyola University in New Orleans and turned to journalism after teaching. He enjoys freshwater fishing and family gatherings.