Orange County mayor recommends wearing masks indoors amidst increasing COVID-19 cases


Due to an increase in the number of COVID-19 positive cases in Orange County, Orange County Mayor Jerry L. Demings strongly recommended that all residents – vaccinated and unvaccinated – consider wearing a mask indoors while in a crowded environment. He also encourage businesses to display signs to encourage patrons to wear a mask when indoors.

Orange County held its weekly news briefing on COVID-19 on Monday, July 19, in the Orange County Administration Building in Orlando.

The next COVID-19 county update news conference is scheduled for Monday, July 26, at 11:00 a.m. in the Orange County Administration Building.

The Florida Department of Health is reporting that Orange County’s 14-day rolling positivity rate is 11.2% percent. Three weeks ago, it was 4.28 percent.

The total positive cases are 154,674 in Orange County.

Orange County officials are recommending that residents get vaccinated, continue to test and follow CDC health and safety guidelines.

Barnett Park extension through August 31
Orange County Government’s Health Services will continue to offer free drive-thru COVID- 19 testing and vaccines at Barnett Park through August 31 from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m., seven days per week. Both rapid and PCR/molecular tests are offered.

Individuals vaccinated will receive free masks and hand sanitizer.

For more information, visit and

Upcoming vaccination opportunities
The #IGotMyShot mobile vaccination trailer continues to visit neighborhoods and businesses throughout Orange County.

Wednesday, July 21
Lake Eola
Corner of Rosalind Avenue and Washington Street
9 a.m. – 11:30 a.m.

Wednesday, July 21
Wadeview Neighborhood Center
2177 S. Summerlin Ave., Orlando
2:30 p.m. – 5 p.m.

Thursday, July 22
Goodwill – Winter Garden
14190 W. Colonial Drive, Winter Garden
9 a.m. – 11:30 a.m.

Thursday, July 22
Bravo Supermarket
2701 N Hiawassee Road, Orlando
2 p.m. – 4:30 p.m.

Friday, July 23
Billie Dean Community Center
225 M A Board St., Apopka
2:30 p.m. – 5 p.m.

Saturday, July 24
UCF & Valencia College Downtown Campus (Parramore Garage)
323 N. Parramore Ave., Orlando
9 a.m. – 3 p.m.

For future schedules or for more information about the #IGotMyShot campaign, visit

Emergency Rental Assistance Program
Orange County’s Emergency Rental Assistance Program is still assisting residents who are behind in rent due to the pandemic.

The program may be able to help eligible residents pay 12 months of past due rent and 1 month of future rent, up to a total of $20,000.

To date, nearly $4 million dollars has been paid out to keep families in their homes.

The program is not available for those living within the direct city limits of the City of Orlando, which has its own program for its residents.

Residents can visit to review program details and to check if their address is eligible.

Emergency Rental Assistance Training Session
Orange County’s Emergency Rental Assistance Program will be conducting an online training session for organizations that are interested in assisting residents with applying for the program.

The training is scheduled for Wednesday, July 28, from 2:00 p.m. to 3:30 p.m. Click here to register.

Valencia College enrollment
For students planning to attend Valencia College in the fall—there is some COVI-19 financial relief available through the American Rescue Plan.

Any student enrolled in at least one class will be eligible to apply for $1,500 or $2,000 dollars in emergency grant aid, which the college will distribute to students in October.

Students will have to confirm that they have a financial need related to the cost of attendance or emergency costs related to COVID-19 such as tuition, housing, health care or childcare.

There are smaller grants of $500 or $1,000 dollars available for students enrolled in Accelerated Skills Training or English Language programs.

For more information please call 407-582-1507 or visit

The Apopka Chief and The Planter are weekly community newspapers, independently owned and family operated, that have served the greater Apopka area in Central Florida since 1923 and 1965 respectively. Subscribe today!