We are approaching the one-year anniversary of my Executive Order issuing a state of local emergency for Orange County. The Executive Order has allowed me to redirect County resources such as personnel, equipment and material to combat the pandemic.
I want to thank all of our Orange County employees who have had to pivot from their regular duties to fill support roles at the Emergency Operations Center for the past 361 days. These employees have been the backbone of our response to the pandemic---from setting up testing sites---to handing out PPE---to helping to operate the incredibly efficient vaccination site at the Convention Center.
This has been the longest local emergency activation in Orange County history, but our commitment is unwavering to keeping everyone safe and informed during the pandemic. I want to commend all of you in every department, from Human Resources to Health Services to Orange County Fire Rescue, as we continue to pull together to overcome COVID-19.
Vaccine eligibility in Orange County has now expanded to:
- Any educator or support staff member regardless of age, including substitute teachers and bus drivers with valid school ID. This also includes our Head Start teachers.
- Firefighters or sworn law enforcement officers, any age.
Anyone 65 years of age or older. In addition, anyone ages 60+ will able to receive the vaccine beginning March 15 (per the Governor’s announcement this week).
- The extremely medically vulnerable/high-risk.
The Convention Center can now vaccinate anyone who is deemed “medically vulnerable” by a physician. That means doctor fill must fill out the official Department of Health form.
We are excited that the FEMA mass vaccination site is up and running at Valencia College’s West Campus. It is great to have more vaccination choices. Appointments are NOT necessary at the large-scale FEMA site at the Valencia College West campus, and there are also satellite sites available.
For more information on vaccination sites and appointments, visit ocfl.net/vaccine.
Our vaccination rates keep improving as 58% (58.7%) of Orange County seniors—ages 65 and up—have been given at least one dose of the COVID-19 vaccine and 11% of Orange County residents have now been vaccinated.
We need everyone to pull together in our fight against COVID. Testing is still essential and important. It helps us identify cases and contain the virus. Orange County’s free testing site at Barnett Park is open through the end of this month and is runs from 9 a.m. through 5 p.m. seven days a week. Testing is open to all employees and their families, regardless of where they reside in the County.
We also have a free testing site that is run by the state, off Destination Parkway. For more testing information, visit ocfl.net/Testing.
Daylight Savings Time
Just a friendly reminder, Daylight Saving Time begins this Sunday, March 14, at 2 a.m. On Saturday night, set your clocks forward one hour to spring ahead.
I encourage you and/or your spouse to make your health and wellness a priority and engage in the myOCWellness program. When completing annual exams and other health-related tasks, you will earn points that convert into a $20 or $40 (for both) credit toward Cigna medical insurance premiums per pay period. You must earn a minimum of 70 points to be eligible for the credit. Visit ocfl.net/myOCWellness for more information.
To stay up-to-date on the most recent information, visit the County Newsroom. I sincerely appreciate your hard work. Thank you!