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Mayor Demings cites need to resist the virus as wastewater tests show Omicron spreading freely

Orange County Mayor Jerry Demings speaks at press conference on Tuesday afternoon. Image: Orange County via YouTube
Orange County Mayor Jerry Demings speaks at press conference on Tuesday afternoon. Image: Orange County via YouTube

Lab tests on wastewater samples in Orange County show the Omicron variant of the coronavirus rising to new record levels after Christmas.

At Tuesday's Orange County update, Mayor Jerry Demings said the wastewater results are an indication that already sky-high case counts will increase further in the coming days. He urges vaccinations and mask-wearing.

"Covid is everywhere in our community," he said. "But it does not mean that we ought to go out and drink a covid concoction to make sure that you get covid. No, as a community we need to resist."

Demings says Omicron could adversely impact the workforce in Central Florida. Already, 254 county workers are in isolation, including 59 corrections officers and 53 firefighters.

And 5% of public school teachers called in sick on the first day back after the holiday break.

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.