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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.

Orange Co. Leaders Urge Continued Health Precautions In Phase 3

Demings
Orange County Government
Mayor Jerry Demings says owners should still ask staff and patrons to wear face masks and social distance even if they continue to operate at reduced capacity.

After Gov. Ron DeSantis moved to a Phase 3 reopening plan, Orange County leaders are warning businesses to keep health precautions in place as they could be liable if patrons get coronavirus.

A mask mandate is still in effect in Orange County, but businesses can now operate at full capacity under Phase 3.

Orange County Mayor Jerry Demings said owners should still continue to ask staff and patrons to wear face masks and social distance even if they continue to operate at reduced capacity.

“Laws or executive state orders do not necessarily need to be in place by the state to do what is inherently right and good for our neighbors,” Demings said. “It’s simple: Take precautions, protect our most vulnerable and your friends and family. We all depend on each other to keep our numbers low.”

Demings said establishments that decide to open at full occupancy should review their insurance policies to make sure they are covered in the event of an outbreak.

County health director Dr. Raul Pino said officials are investigating the possibility of multiple super-spreader events in the area. Pino said he wouldn’t be able to confirm the events until next Thursday at the earliest, but one involved more than 20 people at a gathering.

Pino recommended people continue to limit social events to ten or fewer participants and put safety protocols in place.

“It is important when you are hosting individuals at your house, your church, your community center to continue to have those measures in place, more so if the event is held indoors,” Pino said. “So wash your hands, wear your mask, keep your distance and keep protecting people who are vulnerable and have pre-existing conditions.”

Pino said it is too early to tell whether the Phase 3 reopening has led to an increase in cases. He said that could take another two to three weeks.