Orange County mayor allows COVID-19 state of local emergency to expire

ORANGE COUNTY, Fla. — Orange County Mayor Jerry Demings said he will let the county’s COVID-19 state of local emergency expire on Wednesday afternoon.

He said the change comes after the county has been able to maintain a consistently low COVID-19 positivity rate.

>>> STREAM CHANNEL 9 EYEWITNESS NEWS LIVE <<<

Demings said the 14-day positivity rate is now 3.51%, and that the most recent data shows it is the 17th consecutive day it has been below 5%.

He said as of Wednesday, 75% of eligible residents have also been vaccinated.

He said with the emergency order lifted, it will continue to be up to employers to decide whether or not to require their employees or customers to wear masks indoors.

READ: Brevard school leaders vote to extend mask mandate 30 days

Demings said Orange County will continue to require its employees to wear masks indoors until the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention moves the county from “substantial” to “moderate” community spread of the virus.

The Orange County Public Schools superintendent is watching the announcement closely.

Superintendent Barbara Jenkins said her decision on whether to extend or end the school mask mandate will heavily depend on the county’s announcement.

READ: Dozens of Florida entities under review for violating state ‘vaccine passport’ ban

Some parents want to see the school board extend the mask mandate through winter break. Others would like to see the mask mandate extended for younger students who aren’t yet eligible to be vaccinated.

While others want the mask policy to be over with.

READ: “With both middle fingers up”: Elementary school principal arrested after neighborhood dispute

Meanwhile, during the upcoming special legislative session school board members expect the governor to gain the power to replace them for defying his mask mandate ban.

Click here to download the free WFTV news and weather apps, click here to download the WFTV Now app for your smart TV and click here to stream Channel 9 Eyewitness News live.

Q Mccray

Q McCray, WFTV.com

Q McCray is an award-winning general assignment reporter.

Sarah Wilson

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.