Dear Orange County Team,

We have come to the close of another busy week. It has been a time of fast-moving developments as we moved into a full Phase One reopening. The internal workgroup responsible for providing guidance on how we can begin to transition Orange County Government back to normal business operations made a presentation to the Board of County Commissioners on May 19, 2020. The workgroup is preparing County buildings for reopening using a consistent approach across facilities that take into account feedback from each department. First and foremost, the plan focuses on the safety of employees and the community by outlining some of the expanded protective measures that are being taken, including sneeze guards, touchless hand sanitizer stations, nightly disinfecting, and additional social distancing signage. The workgroup continues to assess a variety of safety measures to implement as we slowly re-enter employees into County facilities.

For those employees who are coming into various work sites, we strongly encourage you to wear a mask. If you are isolated in an office by yourself, a mask is not necessary. However, if you are interacting with the public and/or other staff in close proximity, you are expected wear a mask. Please strive to practice social distancing and keep at least six feet between yourself and others. Each department has a representative responsible for distributing cloth face masks and hand sanitizer to you when you return to the workplace. I continue to count on each of you to help protect your coworkers and the community. To stay updated on the latest COVID-19 information, please visit www.ocfl.net/COVID19 .

It is hard to believe, but the start of hurricane season (June 1 – Nov. 30) is less than two weeks away. It is important for you and your family to plan and prepare for potential storms. Although we are in the middle of a global pandemic, we should never be complacent when it comes to preparedness. Especially because hurricanes are one of nature’s most powerful and destructive weather storms.

Proper preparation can make a big difference and the time to start is now. The first step is to prepare a disaster kit. The kit will prove useful whether you need to evacuate or are impacted by a power outage. If you assemble the kit ahead of time, you can alleviate a lot of the potential stress associated with an approaching storm. Check out this list of recommended items to include in your kit.

To ensure you receive important notifications and life-saving instructions before, during and after hurricanes and other emergencies, I encourage you to sign up for OCAlert at http://ocalert.net . You can also download the OCFL Alert app on your smartphone. Additionally, be sure to save the employee hotline phone number (407-836-0005) on your phone now. The hotline is updated with important information during emergencies, including how county operations could be impacted. For more information about how to prepare for a storm, visit www.ready.gov .

As we approach the Memorial Day weekend, I would like to take a moment to remember and honor the sacrifices of the men and women who gave their lives for this great country. Please have a safe holiday weekend and thank you for your continued support.
Jerry L. Demings, Orange County Mayor signature