Second Orange County resident dies after COVID-19 diagnosis; 4 cases confirmed in the county, health officials say

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ORANGE COUNTY, Fla. — A second Orange County resident has died after being diagnosed with COVID-19, health officials announced Monday.

The 79-year-old woman had preexisting health conditions and died at a local hospital, officials said. Two other people who have tested positive for the virus are under quarantine at their homes, officials said.

With four cases now confirmed in the county, city and county officials and first responders are continuing to prepare for how to handle and prepare for the spread of the virus.

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The county health department said there are other suspected cases in the county, but would not confirm how many.

Mayor Jerry Demings said the county is expected to provide an update on possible bar and restaurant closures by Tuesday morning, ahead of any potential St. Patrick’s Day plans that night.

In Orange County and across the state, jury trials and summons are being suspended for two weeks.

Sheriff John Mina said deputies are also suspending eviction notices until further notice.

Orlando Fire Chief Benjamin Barksdale said his department is ready with the proper safety and disinfectant protocols to respond to calls involving residents with severe flu-like symptoms or COVID-19.

“We all have to take this very seriously,” Barksdale said.

Firefighters demonstrated Monday that necessary outfits they will wear to calls involving patients who might or do have the virus. They involve full-body suits, masks, gloves and safety glasses.

VIDEO: Orlando Fire Dept. shows how it will handle coronavirus calls

Also, after transporting any person who may have the virus, Barksdale said the department has a decontamination unit that sprays a fine mist into the back of the ambulance and can completely disinfect it in 20 minutes.

He urged residents not to call 911 unless they are experiencing severe symptoms. He said firefighters and emergency medical technicians will not have tests for COVID-19 to administer to the public. Instead, he recommended residents call their doctor or local health department.

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