20% of all new Orange County COVID-19 cases in children ages 5-14

ORANGE COUNTY, Fla. — Mayor Jerry Demings, along with medical and school professionals, gave an update on the fight against COVID-19 in Orange County on Monday.

At the briefing, Demings said the total number of COVID-19 cases in Orange County is 198,086, with 1,278 new cases reported since Sunday.

According to officials, that brings the 14-day positivity rate to 20%.

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Health officials said that 20% of all new cases were children between the ages of 5 to 14.

Those increasing numbers also mean more children are being hospitalized.

Arnold Palmer Hospital now has 17 kids admitted with COVID-19, one of those being in the ICU. Nemours has eight kids with one in the ICU, and at the end of last week AdventHealth had 14 kids hospitalized from the virus.

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Officials said the high number of pediatric cases is also making it impossible to keep up with contact tracing at the schools. The health department says it recognizes a delay in getting quarantine notifications to parents could lead to more spread.

“We are encouraging people or children who are sick and staff who are sick to not come to school, because then that reduces the exposures that need to be followed up on in the school setting,” said epidemiologist Alvina Chu.

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Demings said adding more layers of protection for students in the classroom is not up to him, but with the current rate of infection amongst children, he believes more needs to be done.

Demings said that with the announcement that the FDA had approved Pfizer’s COVID-19 vaccine, he hoped that those on the fence about getting the vaccine would.

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The county also announced that a new testing location will open in Apopka this week to help with the demand.

The new site, located at Edwards Field in Apopka, will be open seven days a week from 8 a.m. to 6 p.m.

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Matt Reeser

Matt Reeser, WFTV.com

Matt Reeser joined WFTV in 1998 as a news photographer and has worked for television stations in Kentucky and West Virginia.