Saturday, March 14, 2020

Orlando cancels city gatherings of 250 or more, as coronavirus cases rise in Florida

Posted By and on Sat, Mar 14, 2020 at 9:25 AM

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Orlando Mayor Buddy Dyer released a statement Friday, saying the city is following the county's direction and "will cancel or postpone city-hosted, city-sponsored and city-permitted events with an estimated attendance of 250 or more people."

It takes effect late Sunday at 11:59 p.m., and continues through March 31.

The directions were issued ahead of the state Department of Health announcing 25 more statewide cases of the coronavirus early Saturday, with most of the patients in South Florida.

There have been no reported cases of coronavirus in Orlando, but Orange County has had two confirmed cases. One involved a 68-year-old Orange County woman who died in California after returning from a trip to Asia, and the other is a 41-year-old man who also tested positive and is being isolated. The Florida Health Department says officials are still determining whether or not his case is travel-related.

The city's guidance does not apply to workplaces and regular places of business like malls, nightclubs and movie theaters, but pointedly notes, "we also recommend that events or gatherings of 250 or more being hosted by organizations in the city be cancelled or postponed."
Osceola, Volusia, and Alachua counties each had one new case. Manatee County, like Orange, added two cases. Three were in Palm Beach County, and six were in Miami-Dade County. Broward County had nine of the new cases announced Saturday.

The announcement of the new cases came hours after Gov. Ron DeSantis announced that he was prohibiting visitation at Broward County long-term care facilities for 30 days.

The highly contagious virus, which started late last year in China, can be particularly dangerous for seniors and people with other health conditions. But the newly reported cases ranged from two 19-year-olds in Broward County to an 83-year-old in Broward. DeSantis also has declared a state of emergency as efforts continue to combat the spread of the respiratory virus, known as COVID-19.

In all, Florida has had 64 cases of Florida residents who were diagnosed in the state. That number does not include some cases, such as non-Floridians who tested positive in the state.

Due to rapidly changing circumstances surrounding the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic, many Central Florida events have been postponed or canceled. Check out our list of canceled activities, and please follow CDC guidelines to stay safe and prevent transmission.

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