‘This is just the beginning’: Hotels to close, number of positive COVID-19 cases expected to grow in Orange County, mayor says

Orange Co. Mayor Jerry Demings said the testing site will be at the Orange County Convention Center.

ORANGE COUNTY, Fla. — Five new cases of COVID-19 were reported in Orange County on Wednesday, bringing the county’s total number of cases to 11.

But Orange County leaders said that number is expected to rise as more tests are made available in the community.

“This is just the beginning,” said Dr. Raul Pino, with the Florida Department of Health in Orange County.

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Pino said a regional testing site for COVID-19 at the Orange County Convention Center will be operational in the next 48 hours. He said deliverables are getting put into place and that the site will be managed by the National Guard.

Pino said a smaller-scale testing site in the Alafaya Trail area is also set to open with appointments for people who qualify to be tested.

Three of the recent positive cases involve three men ages 57, 73 and 60. Pino said only one of them had a recent travel history, which was to South Asia.

If you believe you may be experiencing symptoms of COVID-19 or the flu, officials urge you to contact your primary care physician and not to go to the hospital unless those symptoms are severe or life-threatening.

Demings said several hotels in the county are expected to close their doors as demand decreases due to the coronavirus pandemic. So far, the Hyatt Regency Orlando on International Drive announced it will close until early May.

Officials also said the Heart of Florida United Way is receiving triple the number of calls it usually gets on its 211 helpline due to impact of the virus. Officials said they desperately need donations to keep up with the need. Click here to find out how you can help.

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