Orange County urged to remain vigilant despite 'flattening of the curve'

Orange County Mayor Jerry Demings says that Orange County is seeing a flattening of the curve when it comes to the coronavirus, but that residents should remain cautious.

During a new conference, the mayor said now is not the time to let up on protective measures in place. He said we may be seeing a flattening of the curve, but we are not out of the woods yet.

Mayor Demings said he contributed the deceleration in new cases to Orange County’s “Stay at Home” measure and social distancing.

“I think this is the time for us to really to double down to run through the finish line here so we can continue having a positive impact on reducing the spread of the virus in this community,” Demings said.

The mayor is urging people to continue wearing protective masks and to keep social distancing because the county could see another increase in cases.

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The latest numbers show the county has just over 1,000 confirmed COVID-19 cases. The Florida Department of Health in Orange County predicts that Orange County should peak this week, while health officials said more data is needed to see if that's happened already.

Dr. Raul Pino with the Florida Department of Health in Orange County said data shows COVID-19 cases in Orange County are expected to peak between April 12-19. While Dr. Pino said more data is needed to assess if the county has peaked already he also cautioned the flattening of the curve may not be permanent.

“Some places peak twice. Some of it’s related to the fact that some people relax a little bit and then don’t use the protection measures that have been put in place.”

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Models from the University of Washington show the state of Florida is expected to peak in the number of coronavirus deaths per day on May 6th with 129 predicted deaths. But doctors said the numbers could change based on the protective measures people are using.

Dr. Marissa Levin, a professor of public health at the University of South Florida said, “By [using protective measures] we actually make the peak later but we make the peak lower which is helpful.”