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Intersection: Osceola County Grapples With The Pandemic

Image: Florida Department of Economic Opportunity

Unemployment in Osceola County skyrocketed after the pandemic hit. According to the Department of Economic Opportunity, the unemployment rate last month was 22%: the highest in the state. 

As the pandemic continues, Osceola County has implemented tough measures to get people to adhere to mask wearing and social distancing orders- including penalties for people who don’t follow the guidelines. And, like other counties statewide, schools are preparing to reopen against this backdrop of unemployment and surging coronavirus cases. 

On this episode of Intersection, we’re joined by Kissimmee Mayor Jose Alvarez and Osceola County School Board Member Kelvin Soto, talking about how Osceola County is coping with the economic turmoil triggered by the pandemic. 

Later in the show- Rev. Mary Lee Downey with the Community Hope Center in Osceola County talks about how her organization saw a spike in demand for food. She also talks about the impact the crisis on affordable housing. 

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Matthew Peddie

About Matthew Peddie

Host of WMFE's Intersection & Assistant News Director

Matthew Peddie grew up in New Zealand and studied journalism at the University of Western Ontario. After graduating with an MA in Journalism he returned to Christchurch, working as a reporter for Radio Live and Radio New Zealand. He’s reported live from the scene of earthquakes, criminal trials and rugby ... Read Full Bio »