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Orange County could extend stay-at-home order

Orange County Mayor Jerry Demings (center), Orange County Sheriff John Mina (left) and Orlando Mayor Buddy Dyer (right) brief the media Monday. Photo: Orange County

Orange County Mayor Jerry Demings says the county could extend its stay at home order beyond April 9th.

The county is in the top five in the state in the number of positive coronavirus patients and as testing ramps up this week, that number is expected to rise.

“We will make that call based on the data that we have with our experience in Orange County,” said Demings “It is likely, however, that when we get to April 9th we may have to extend that. We won’t make that decision until we begin to analyze the data.”

As testing increases, the county is uncovering clusters of positive patients like the 8 Orlando International Airport TSA workers, nearly 200 cases in Orlando, and a cluster in Winter Garden.

Demings believes social distancing is the best way to limit the spread and keep hospitals from reaching capacity. There’s no current shortage of hospital beds in Orange County. 

“They still have beds. Our system is not overwhelmed and we want to keep it that way,” said Orange County’s Dr. Raul Pino. He’s urging residents to use emergency rooms for life or death situations — not primary care. 

Orange County Sheriff John Mina said many in the county are complying with the current stay-at-home order. Deputies issued only 15 warnings for violations of the order and no arrests over the weekend.

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Brendan Byrne

About Brendan Byrne

Space Reporter and 'Are We There Yet?' Host

Brendan covers space news for WMFE, everything from rocket launches to the latest scientific discoveries in our universe. He hosts WMFE's weekly radio show and podcast "Are We There Yet?" which explores human space exploration. Brendan is a native Floridian, born and raised in Broward County. He moved to ... Read Full Bio »