Orange County sees alarming increase in COVID-19 cases, with 40% of residents testing positive

ORANGE COUNTY, Fla. — In Orange County, COVID-19 cases are surging, and leaders said on Wednesday that they expect to see more cases and hospitalizations in the coming weeks.

On Wednesday, Orange County leaders said there are now more than 319,000 active cases of COVID-19 throughout the county.

That is four in ten people in Orange County who are testing positive for COVID-19.

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Until those numbers decline, the emphasis continues to be on more testing and vaccines.

The Department of Health reports that the majority of new cases are in the 25 to 44 age group.

Meanwhile, increasing hospital admissions among children have Orange County schools ready to deploy 10,000 home test kits while it waits for another 10,000 from the state.

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Mayor Jerry Demings believes without the current level of testing the county would be at a crisis level at this point.

Demings said the city’s newly opened testing site at Camping World Stadium is helping to reduce the wait time across the county’s three test sites.

The mayor also said the county is waiting on a request made weeks ago to the state for 100,000 tests, but he’s not sure they’re going to show up.

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“It does not appear that we are going to receive them. So, I don’t know. It’s still in a question mark category at this point, in fact, through our emergency management division we requested a total of 500 at-home test kits that would cover the entire county with some of our community partners. It does not appear that we will receive it from the state at this point,” Demings said.

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Demings said the county does have federal dollars to keep up testing for now, but it’s not known for how long. He added that the county will not be able to keep up the current testing pace so leaders are optimistic this omicron wave will lessen in the coming weeks.

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