Orange County

When could we stop wearing face masks? Here’s what local officials are saying

ORANGE COUNTY, Fla. — For more than eight months, you’ve had to grab your mask with your keys every time you head out the door, at least if you live in Orange County.

But with other communities starting to drop that requirement, we wanted to know when that time will come here.

“We’re listening to the science,” said Orange County Mayor Jerry Demings.

READ: Orlando FEMA COVID-19 vaccination site exhausts supply nearly 3 hours early

Demings met with regional leaders on Thursday. AdventHealth, Orlando Health, ACA Hospital Systems and officers from Lake, Osceola and Seminole counties were all on the call.

“They were all unanimous in saying that they would not recommend the removal of wearing, or requirement of wearing masks, at this time,” Demings said.

Dr. Raul Pino said masks could come off when about 50% of the community is vaccinated, so we have herd immunity. That could be sometime this summer.

READ: All school staff can now make COVID-19 vaccine appointments at Orange County Convention Center

But Demings said it won’t be just about vaccinations, they’ll also consider the number of cases at that time.

Six states across the country have ended, or will soon end, their statewide mask mandates.

They’re joining 11 other states across the U.S., including Florida, that never required face coverings statewide.

READ: School employees of all ages able to receive COVID-19 vaccine at Orlando FEMA vaccination site

Adam Poulisse,

Adam Poulisse joined WFTV in November 2019.