Orange County has reached COVID-19 herd immunity, health officials say

ORANGE COUNTY, Fla. — COVID-19 cases are about as low as they’ve ever been in Orange County, and local health leaders said they’re pretty confident we won’t see another surge.

“Herd immunity” is a term they’ve shied away from for a while. But they do now believe we have reached herd immunity in Orange County when you add those who have recently had the virus to those who have been vaccinated.

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During the delta surge, health leaders made it clear they did not believe we would or even could still get to herd immunity and that it was out of reach with so many against the vaccine, and some immunity wearing off for those vaccinated early on.

READ: OSHA vaccine mandate to affect hundreds of thousands of Orlando-area workers

But the catastrophic death toll in Orange County changed a lot of minds, and employers started to require the vaccine.

About 76% of Orange County’s eligible population has been vaccinated. But county health officer Dr. Raul Pino said when you add in all the natural immunity recently acquired, we’re likely in the high 80s.

While Pino said “yes, we have” reached herd immunity, he added that only covers Orange County’s residential base and not all visitors.

READ: Parents may have to wait another month for COVID-19 vaccines for kids

With the travel ban ending Monday, we could see a big influx of people from around the world.

“We should not be resting on herd immunity or other measures. We should continue to be careful,” Pino said.

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Adam Poulisse, WFTV.com

Adam Poulisse joined WFTV in November 2019.