February celebrates Black History Month, and I look forward to all of the events ourMLK Initiative has planned. One of the must-see local exhibits, titled “Uprooting Prejudice: Faces of Change,” can be found at the Holocaust Memorial Resource & Education Center of Florida. I recently toured the exhibit and encourage our residents to visit as well. You can learn more in our Orange County newsroom. In addition, our MLK Initiative stresses the importance of literacy, and recently I had the pleasure of reading virtually to Head Start children.
As we continue to stay the course in our fight against the COVID-19 pandemic, I am encouraged by our teamwork and progress. Many of our employees are serving as boots on the ground to help the Florida Department of Health in Orange County deliver vaccines to residents in a safe and efficient manner … keeping in mind that our vaccine supply rests solely upon what is given to us by the state.
My office has received many emails and letters praising the efficiency at the Orange County Convention Center. Make no mistake … Orange County’s high-level of service would not be possible without the life-saving role the Convention Center is playing as a vaccination site. Our Health Services Department staff and Orange County Fire Rescue personnel are key players in this monumental effort, as well as other team members in various departments.
Our Convention Center has essentially become ground zero in the public safety response to the COVID-19 pandemic. Since the pandemic first hit, the Convention Center has turned from its mission of economic development to a local and regional health care hub — offering both testing and vaccinations. I encourage you to read about its essential public safety role and how it is serving our community.
Please continue to stay informed and safe — and practice pandemic precautions. We are a strong county because of our resiliency in working together.
P.S. Thank you to former Orange County Chairman/Mayor Mel Martinez and former Orange County Commissioners Mabel Butler and Homer Hartage for attending one of our COVID-19 news conferences and receiving the vaccination to demonstrate the safety and effectiveness to our local minority communities.
Stay updated on vaccination appointment openings for residents 65+ at ocfl.net/vaccine. You can sign up on the webpage for text and/or email alerts. Frequently asked questions can also be accessed at ocfl.net/VaccineFAQ.
What Can You Expect When You Arrive for Your Appointment? Watch this Video:
Congratulations to Orange County Corrections Officer Sergeant Frederick Carter for being honored as the 2021 Corrections Officer of the Year! Read more at the Florida Sheriffs Association newsroom.
From left to right: Karen Davies of Corizon Health, FSA President and Gilchrist County Sheriff Bobby Schultz, Orange County Corrections Sergeant Frederick Carter, Orange County Chief of Corrections Louis Quinones
FREE TESTING THROUGH FEBRUARY
Orange County Government’s Health Services Department has extended its FREE COVID-19 testing at Barnett Parkthrough February 28, 2021. The testing site will continue to operate seven days per week from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.