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Overwhelmed Orange County CARES Act Portal Closes Minutes Before Scheduled Opening

The county says there was an “overwhelming response” and the web portal hit its 2,000-applicant capacity within minutes.
WMFE
The county says there was an “overwhelming response” and the web portal hit its 2,000-applicant capacity within minutes.";s:

Fewer than 2,000 Orange County residents were able to apply for a one-time grant through the CARES Act Monday morning. 

The county says there was an “overwhelming response” and the web portal hit its 2,000-applicant capacity within minutes.

The online portal closed six minutes before it was scheduled to open to the public at 8 a.m. with not all of the people logged in completing applications. 

Gwen Cooper, who works as a server at Orlando International Airport, said she was waiting to sign on but never got a chance.

“Um, what am I going to do? I’m going to move the last $1,000 from my savings into my checking account and pay my July mortgage with that. That’s what’s going to happen.”

Cooper hasn’t been called back to her job at the airport and her boyfriend, who is a bartender, has only been able to find part-time work. Plus, she has concerns about returning to work during the coronavirus pandemic because of pre-existing health conditions.

“I don’t even know what the industry is going to look like when I get back into it,” she says. “And how much I’m going to be able to count on even making an income. And I’m concerned about the second wave.”  

She says she hasn’t received unemployment assistance from the state and only recently got her federal stimulus check.

The portal was scheduled to reopen again on Tuesday morning at 8, and the county will review up to 1,000 applicants per week.

Visit ocfl.net/OrangeCARES  for a schedule of dates when the application will available.