I am happy to report Orange County Government will move into the next phase of our plan to reopen our facilities to public access on Monday, April 5, 2021. We will use a phased approach. The safety and health of our workforce and customers remains a top priority. Therefore, my decision to move into the next phase is based on a data-driven approach that takes into account health reports for our region and particularly the significant increase in vaccine availability. Specifically, we closely monitored our County’s COVID-19 14-day positivity rate, daily hospitalization trends, deaths and self-reported positivity test rates among our employees.
Thanks to all of your efforts, a vast majority of our services to the public have continued with little or no disruption since we limited public access to our facilities when the community's positivity rates began to rise a year ago.
Now that more than 60% of residents 60 years of age and older have received the vaccine, we will move forward in opening the County’s senior centers, gymnasiums, fitness centers and outdoor courts at a limited capacity of 50%.
Additionally, summer youth camps at our Parks and the History Center will reopen with increased participation. We will closely monitor our health indicators to determine when we will return to full reopening.
Public Works, PEDS and Utilities will all reopen their lobbies and/or main buildings to the public with appointments required and limited face-to-face interactions. As a result, some staff will return to their physical work locations to serve in-person customers. I am very proud of how quickly many of you adapted to conducting business virtually and teleworking, which are necessary measures to ensure our workforce and community's health and safety.
Individual reopening plans developed by departments for their areas of business are also encompassed in our official Reopening Plan and vary based on operational needs. The Reopening Plan details:
- Services that may reopen to the public
- Services that continue to be conducted online
- Continued employee telecomm uniting and flexible in-office schedules, where applicable
Click here to read the full Reopening Plan, including the operations plans for departments and offices. Please contact your department director or division manager if you have any questions or desire more information about expectations for your specific area.
Additionally, consistent with my decision two weeks ago to allow COVID-19 vaccinations for those 40 years and older at the Convention Center site, Governor DeSantis announced Florida residents 40 years and older are eligible to receive the vaccine at all sites starting Monday, March 29. Beginning April 5, all Florida residents 18 years of age and older will be eligible to receive the vaccine. Additionally, those ages 16 and 17 are also eligible on April 5 with certain requirements and restrictions. Visit ocfl.net/vaccine for the latest information.
Thank you so much for setting the example by taking all necessary safety measures to protect each other and the residents we serve, including wearing face coverings, washing your hands frequently and practicing social distancing. Please know how much I appreciate all you do for our organization and our community. I am looking forward to our continued reopening plans and will keep you up-to-date.