Orange County

Mayor: Orange County COVID-19 vaccination rate increases as case numbers climb

ORANGE COUNTY, Fla. — Orange County Mayor Jerry Demings said there is a small glimmer of good news as COVID-19 case numbers continue to climb -- the county’s vaccination rate is also on the rise.

Demings said 63.43% of the population eligible for the vaccine has received at least one shot.

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“The numbers are not huge… but we will take anything that’s positive,” Health Officer Dr. Raul Pino said.

Pino said a good percentage of those getting vaccinated in recent weeks include children ages 12 to 17. He said getting that age group vaccinated is critical to getting the pandemic under control, especially with school starting next week.

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Officials said the county’s case numbers have continued to rise to average more than 1,000 new cases a day. On Wednesday, the county reported an additional 1,409 cases, with 98% of those being in unvaccinated people.

“If this virus has not impacted you in your home, eventually it will,” Demings said.

Demings said there has been a “tremendous response” to the additional COVID-19 testing site opened in the county this week.

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Pino said he expects the next two weeks to be difficult.

“If the pandemic continues to behave the way it has behaved in the past, we should continue to see an increase in the number of hospitalizations next week,” he said.

That means more deaths and hospitalizations.

Katlyn Brieskorn,

Katlyn Brieskorn is a Digital Assignment Editor at WFTV. She joined Channel 9 in July 2019.