Orange County, Florida — where Disney’s flagship theme park, Walt Disney World Resort is located — has made a major announcement regarding its pandemic-related state of emergency.
At a press conference today, Orange County Mayor Jerry Demings confirmed that the county’s COVID-19 state of emergency would officially lift at 3:04 p.m. EST today, October 28, 2021.
During his briefing, Mayor Demings expressed gratitude for all those who have gotten the COVID-19 vaccine, helping previously high case numbers drastically fall throughout Central Florida:
“Thankfully, due to the high number of vaccinated residents and wearing of masks and other safety measures, our numbers have plummeted. This last wave of COVID cases that begin in late June made for an extremely challenging time for everyone, especially hospitals and emergency officials.”
Per local newspaper, the Orlando Sentinel:
The decision comes as the positivity rate has dived below 5% for 17 straight days, hovering at about 3.5% over the past two weeks. Following two of the deadliest months of the pandemic, only 27 county residents have died of the virus in October, down from 293 in September and 410 in August.
Under the state of emergency signed by Demings, county employees were mandated to be vaccinated with at least one shot by Aug. 31, or face discipline. While he was limited in his power to mandate masks [Florida Governor Ron DeSantis is not in favor of mask mandates], Demings at the time urged residents and visitors to don them indoors.
The Sentinel also noted that county workers will still be required to wear appropriate face coverings when they are in government facilities, although mandatory weekly COVID-19 testing requirements have been lifted for unvaccinated government workers.
As for Guests who plan to visit Walt Disney World Resort’s four theme parks — Magic Kingdom, EPCOT, Disney’s Animal Kingdom, and Disney’s Hollywood Studios — for the property’s 50th anniversary celebration, face masks are still required indoors for all Guests age 2 and over, in accordance with Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) guidelines.
The full press conference can be viewed below:
Are you glad the state of emergency in Orange County has been lifted?