Orange County moving closer to completely removing mask mandate as travel increases


On Wednesday, Orange County’s COVID-19 briefing was held at the airport, and officials did talk about an increase in travel. The biggest news is that Orange County is on the cusp of moving to Phase 3, which lifts all mask mandates outdoors and indoors.Orange County Mayor Jerry Demings has said in the past that Phase 3 could begin when 70% of the population over age 16 has received their first dose of the vaccine and/or Orange County’s 14-day rolling positivity rate is 5% or lower. Orange County’s current positivity rate is currently at 5.2% and health officials think in the next few weeks it will meet the threshold to move to Phase 3, which means masks will no longer be required indoors, as far as the county is concerned.”It appears that we will hit the sustained 5% or below prior to hitting 70%, so it’s a benchmark, it was guidelines that were given to our community, that is somewhat consistent with what we’ve heard from Centers for Disease Control,” Demings said.On the travel side of things, the CEO of Orlando International Airport said last weekend OIA saw some of its largest non-holiday crowds since the pandemic started.On Sunday, more than 66,000 passengers departed from OIA, also, for December through March, OIA was the busiest airport in the country.As for what is ahead this summer, officials say they believe that domestic travel will continue to grow, but business travel is not yet back and international travel is likely to take even longer to come back.

On Wednesday, Orange County’s COVID-19 briefing was held at the airport, and officials did talk about an increase in travel.

The biggest news is that Orange County is on the cusp of moving to Phase 3, which lifts all mask mandates outdoors and indoors.

Orange County Mayor Jerry Demings has said in the past that Phase 3 could begin when 70% of the population over age 16 has received their first dose of the vaccine and/or Orange County’s 14-day rolling positivity rate is 5% or lower.

Orange County’s current positivity rate is currently at 5.2% and health officials think in the next few weeks it will meet the threshold to move to Phase 3, which means masks will no longer be required indoors, as far as the county is concerned.

“It appears that we will hit the sustained 5% or below prior to hitting 70%, so it’s a benchmark, it was guidelines that were given to our community, that is somewhat consistent with what we’ve heard from Centers for Disease Control,” Demings said.

On the travel side of things, the CEO of Orlando International Airport said last weekend OIA saw some of its largest non-holiday crowds since the pandemic started.

On Sunday, more than 66,000 passengers departed from OIA, also, for December through March, OIA was the busiest airport in the country.

As for what is ahead this summer, officials say they believe that domestic travel will continue to grow, but business travel is not yet back and international travel is likely to take even longer to come back.



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