Orange County Mayor Jerry Demings continues to explore a way to return to a mask mandate

Jul 26, 2021 in "The Walt Disney Company"

Posted: Monday July 26, 2021 11:00am ET by WDWMAGIC Staff

In a briefing this morning, Orange County Mayor Jerry Demings has said that he is exploring ways to re-introduce a mask mandate despite new state laws putting significant restrictions on his abilities to do so.

Several months ago, Florida Governor Ron DeSantis signed into law a ban on local leaders introducing any executive orders during a pandemic, effectively preventing the Orange County Mayor from doing anything to slow the spread of COVID in the area.

Mayor Demings stated that there are now 1000 new cases daily in Orange County, and said "We're now in crisis mode". Current numbers of new cases are similar to January 2021, before the vaccine was widely available.

As of Saturday, the current 14-day rolling positivity rate for Orange County is 13.96%, and the number of residents vaccinated for ages 12 and above is 61.59%.

In addition to the rising levels of cases, the area's primary health provider, AdventHealth, has moved to its highest red alert level, with ICU space at capacity. The provider now delays non-critical procedures to focus on COVID-19 cases.

Demings left the briefing by saying that the next 24 to 48 hours are critical to his decision process, perhaps suggesting we may hear more about a possible mask mandate for the area later this week.

Disney relaxed all mask and social distancing requirements as of June 15 when Orange County and the CDC dropped their recommendation for masks and distancing for those who are fully vaccinated.

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danlb_20002 days ago

There was a study that showed that at the state level the mandates didn't make much difference. This could have been because of a lack of enforcement wasn't actually changing the number of people wearing masks. It also could be that the places where it was being enforced weren't the places that were driving the spread.

Chip Chipperson2 days ago

My friend Gavin got a bad case of Machinehead that way. It turned green to red and everything.

SteveAZee2 days ago

It seems like the idea, in restaurants, is to keep the spread local to the table as much as possible, conceding that you're eating and drinking there so... particulates all over. Moving from door to table or table to restroom allows you to 'spread the wealth' across all the tables in between... so I sort of understand the logic of maskless at the dining table and masked everywhere else.

Chi842 days ago

I see almost no masking in restaurants. People wear them walking to and from their table but don’t wear them at all while seated. It’s just the nature of restaurants. I’m not sure how much good mask mandates are doing in restaurants. The servers do wear them so maybe that helps.

SteveAZee3 days ago

I suppose that's possible, certainly in broader applications. Having mask mandates under controlled environments likely to cause spread (such as airplanes, restaurants, etc), that seems to work. Trying to enforce a mask mandate for the public at large seems difficult.

Tom P.3 days ago

I do look at the comparative data. Which is why I think mask mandates should all be lifted. There is very little, if any, data to suggest that mask mandates make any appreciable difference. Note that I am referring to mask mandates, not to masks themselves. Effectiveness of masks themselves is an entirely different matter. But having mandates in place does not seem to make any significant difference in outcomes.

Tinkwings3 days ago

Fixed that above......good point! :p

danlb_20003 days ago

"Breathe in, Breathe out", that's a sure fire way to spread the virus! ;)

SteveAZee3 days ago

Yes, it didn't prevent it. Harder to know how much the masks mitigated it, though... could the spike have been worse? You can only infer the answer by looking at other populations that didn't apply a mandate.

Ayla3 days ago

Zero chance.

SoCalDisneyLover3 days ago

Cool, anyways. So if you're saying that Delta hit Hawaii as hard as places like FL, MS, TX, AR, TN, then you're still wrong. The fact that Delta impacted everywhere is irrelevant. Hawaii got hit harder during Delta that at any other time of the pandemic. Fine. But to even compare their results with those other states, is so far from reality, it's kind of sad the comparison is being made.

mikejs783 days ago

Frankly, if politics weren't an issue, the solution would be to require proof of vaccination or wear a mask in any public setting, at least during outbreaks.

Trauma3 days ago

You make a great point here about a clearly defined goal. It makes it easier to determine success or failure. It also makes it easier to then replicate the goal in other similar settings.

MansionButler843 days ago

A goal is better than a vague, “maybe someday,” at least.