Face masks leading to decline in COVID-19 cases in Orange County, health officials say

ORLANDO, Fla. — Florida health officials reported more than 6,300 new coronavirus cases and 47 deaths on Monday, but numbers are on the decline in Orange County thanks to residents wearing face masks under the mandate.

Of those deaths 13 were in Central Florida, including nine in Polk County, two each in Orange and Osceola counties.

Of those cases, 375 are in Orange County, and leaders say the mask mandate that went into effect two weeks ago is proving to be the right move, as cases are on the decline.

READ: Coronavirus: Hundreds of scientists say virus is airborne, ask WHO to revise recommendations

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“Some people got discouraged because at the same time we did the masking on the 20th, our numbers were going really high,” Orange County Health Officer Dr. Raul Pino said.

Dr. Pino said the virus works in cycles, 14 days at a time, and the masks have been required in Orange County for two weeks.

“Since then we start seeing a very slow move of the data, in the right direction,” Pino said. “Last week we saw a negative growth of 21% when you compare it to the prior week, and that coincides exactly with the second week that we have the mask on ordinance in orange county.”

The rate per 100,000 has gone down as well. It’s taken a bit, but Dr. Pino said that’s normal.

“The pandemic doesn’t disappear in one day,” he said. “It takes time and it takes people behaving (the way) most people are: Wearing face masks, and it does work.”

Dr. Pino said the data is optimistic.

“The data is kind of complicated, but it is showing the right trends,” he said. “And at the same time, you say, ‘What will happen tomorrow?’”

Read: Orlando ranks second in total COVID-19 cases in state

The new data bring the total number of cases in Florida to 206,447, with 3,778 deaths.

See a county-by-county breakdown of cases below, and click here for an interactive map of cases statewide:

Orange: 14,407 (+375)

Seminole: 3,430 (+91)

Volusia: 2,804 (+119)

Brevard: 2,591 (+70)

Osceola: 3,068 (+102)

Lake: 1,890 (+45)

Sumter: 436 (+16)

Marion: 986 (+59)

Flagler: 392 (+9)

Polk: 5,472 (+276)

Click here to find out where to find COVID-19 testing in Central Florida.

INTERACTIVE MAP: Coronavirus cases in Florida

Watch Channel 9 Eyewitness News at noon for live updates.

READ: Gov. DeSantis to hold COVID-19 briefing in The Villages

Adam Poulisse, WFTV.com

Adam Poulisse joined WFTV in November 2019.

Sarah Wilson, WFTV.com

Sarah Wilson joined WFTV Channel 9 in 2018 as a digital producer after working as an award-winning newspaper reporter for nearly a decade in various communities across Central Florida.