Dear Orange County Family –
The number of positive COVID-19 cases continues to rise in our community and throughout the state of Florida. We currently have more than 16,000 reported cases in Orange County with 78 deaths as of today. More than 167,000 individuals have been tested and our overall positivity rate is now 9.7%. Next week, Orange County Health Services will be at Barnett Park with free COVID-19 testing from 8 a.m. to 1 p.m. Please note employees are welcome to get tested at any of our Orange County Services testing sites. Appointments are required and more information can be found at
. Supervisor approval is required if you choose to get tested during scheduled work hours.
The dramatic increase in positive cases over the past month continues to serve as a strong reminder that we must all adhere to the safety measures put in place to protect our employees, their families and our residents.
It also means we, as County employees, must continue to set the example by following the three W’s listed below.
- Washing your hands
- Wearing a face covering
- Watching your distance between yourself and others
Anyone entering a County facility needs to follow the three W’s. All County employees coming into various worksites must wear a face covering while interacting with the public and/or other staff in close proximity. At this point, all employees who are still physically coming into work should have received County-issued cloth coverings and/or disposable facemasks. As an added measure to keep everyone safe, all employees will receive a box of 50 disposable facemasks. If you are in need of a face covering, contact your department office. Please note, the face covering requirement may not be applicable to public health or public safety employees or classes of employees required to wear specific protective equipment over their face as a job requirement.
The portal for CARES Act funding will reopen on Monday, July 13, at 8 a.m., with a limit of 10,000 applications. This may be the last time we reopen the portal due to an overwhelming response as we are still reviewing applications submitted last month. Currently, 19,000 applications have been reviewed and approved for individuals and families, which represents nearly $20 million dollars in financial help during this time.
In an effort to prepare for the peak of hurricane season, Orange County Government is hosting a free self-serve sandbag program for residents at five of our park locations starting next Thursday, July 16, through Thursday, July 30 from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. All sandbag supplies will be provided with the exception of shovels. Residents need to bring their own shovels to fill the sandbags, as well as wear a face covering at all times while onsite.
The program is free and open to all Orange County households. In addition, participants will receive free Personal Protective Equipment at each location. Please go to
for more information.
Throughout this week, the Board of County Commissioners and I completed budget hearings. As we have all experienced in one way or another, the COVID-19 pandemic has had a significant impact on our economy, both locally and nationally. It will take conservative budgeting and stable reserves to keep our community in good standing. That effort begins at home. You may have already heard by now, Orange County Government employees will not receive an annual salary adjustment in the coming Fiscal Year, with the exception of hourly employees whose salaries were already set to increase to $15.00 per hour and where otherwise contractually required. This is not a decision the Board and I took lightly, and I know this is disappointing news. However, it is imperative we are fiscally conservative and set an example during these difficult times, allowing us to continue providing essential services to our residents and businesses, as well as keeping the safety and wellness of our employees a priority.
We are so fortunate to have incredible employees like you who have played a vital role in ensuring our community is the best place to live, especially as we navigate a very challenging time for all. Thank you, again, for all you do and please know how much I appreciate your hard work and commitment to public service.