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Orange County will let its COVID state of emergency expire

Photo: Mayor Jerry Demings
Orange County
County Mayor Jerry Demings, at right, says if there is another surge in COVID cases, he says he would put the order back in place.

It's up to businesses to decide how to best protect workers and patrons once the emergency is lifted.

Orange County will no longer be under a state of emergency as of Wednesday afternoon as COVID-19 cases continue to drop in the area. 

Orange County’s positivity rate has been below 5% for 17 consecutive days and the 14-day average rate was 3.5%.

County Mayor Jerry Demings says if there is another surge in COVID cases, he says he would put the order back in place.

“I hope that will never happen, but we don’t know precisely what this virus is capable of,”  e says.

Demings says once the order expires, it will be up to individual employers to determine how to protect their workers and patrons.

Under the state of emergency, county employees were required to be vaccinated with at least one shot by the end of August, or face discipline. Unvaccinated workers also were required to be tested weekly for COVID-19, but they'll no longer have to do that.

County employees will still be required to wear masks until the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention moves the county from substantial risk of transmission to moderate.

“I want to take this opportunity to thank our residents for taking the pandemic seriously by getting fully vaccinated, wearing masks and following other safety protocols. You our community have demonstrated how much you care for your families, your friends and your neighbors,” Demings says,

Copyright 2021 WMFE. To see more, visit WMFE.

Danielle Prieur