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News about coronavirus in Florida and around the world is constantly emerging. It's hard to stay on top of it all but Health News Florida can help. Our responsibility is to keep you informed, and to help discern what’s important for your family as you make what could be life-saving decisions.

Lake County To Sterilize Used Masks For First Responders; Orange County Cases Decelerate

Protective masks on shelves.
Lake County Fire Rescue
The Florida Channel
Lake County Fire Rescue is santitizing used N-95 masks using hydrogen peroxide pumped into a special trailer.

Lake County to sterilize N-95 masks

Joe Byrnes, WMFE

Lake County Fire Rescue will begin sterilizing used N95 masks for first responders during the COVID-19 pandemic.

The three hour process decontaminates up to 300 masks at a time, dispersing hydrogen peroxide in the air and then maintaining the saturation level.

Over the weekend, Lake County officials did a trial run of the CURIS Decontamination Unit. They say the masks were free of bacteria and the coronavirus.

The sterilization and reuse of N95 masks could ease local concerns over the availability of personal protective equipment.

Orange County ‘not out of the woods yet’

Danielle Prieur, WMFE

Orange County Department of Health Medical Director Dr. Raul Pino says there is a deceleration in new cases in Orange County.  But he warns it may not be permanent.

“It doesn’t mean that we are out of the woods yet,” he said at a media briefing Monday afternoon.

“That is not the case. We need more data to be able to assess if we have peaked already.”

Dr. Pino said it’s possible to have a second peak if people stop complying with social distancing measures.

Orange County Mayor Jerry Demings said he’ll consult with health officials before lifting any measures.

“Let’s get this done now. I don’t want to have to go through this again in two months. If we can be uncomfortable now, we don’t have to repeat this.”

Demings said he wants to assemble a group of business leaders by the end of the week to plan for an eventual reopening.

Measures to re open businesses could include limiting occupancy and temperature checks.

Florida has had 21,019 positive coronavirus cases, with 2,841 hospitalizations according to the latest numbers from the department of health.

499 people have died from COVID-19 in Florida.

Orange County has 1,024 cases, the most in Central Florida. The county has had 157 hospitalizations and 13 deaths.

The county wants to open five more mobile testing sites in Orlando.

Orlando mayor Buddy Dyer said the mobile test sites will be at West Orange Park, Blanchard Park, Barnett Park, South Econ Park, and Camping World Stadium.

Orlando Health provides tablets for isolated COVID-19 patients

Amy Green, WMFE

Orlando Health is providing tablet devices for COVID-19 patients who don’t have any other way to stay in touch with family and friends while they are in the hospital.

Visitation is restricted for these patients to prevent the spread of the coronavirus.

Hospital staff members help patients use the tablets and connect with loved ones. The tablets are sanitized after each use.