Orange County announces coronavirus curfew starting Friday night


  • Screenshot via Orange TV
Orange County Government announced Friday afternoon that all business, recreation and other activities will cease from 11 p.m. until 5 a.m. on Saturday morning.

The curfew announcement was made by video from the county's Emergency Operations Center.
All pedestrian and vehicular movement, standing and parking, except for individuals commuting to and from places of employment, the provision of fire, police, emergency and hospital services, medical patients, utility repairs, state and local government employees providing services, and emergency calls by physicians within the above curfew area, are prohibited during curfew hours.
Curfew hours during which such movement is prohibited shall be each day from 11 :00 P.M. until 5:00 A.M., commencing on Friday, March 20, 2020 until terminated by executive order. Any and all persons abroad on the streets and sidewalks within any curfew area during the curfew period and not engaged in the provision of the above mentioned services shall be subject to arrest as provided in Section 901.15(1), Florida Statutes.

"We are experiencing a state of anxiety that's like a rollercoaster," said county Mayor Jerry Demings. "This is about stopping the spread of the virus."

He noted that senior citizens, and others most endangered, need the community's help.

"I want to remind our community that we are all in this COVID-19 fight together. We must be vigilant in protecting each other's health, even though there are restrictions on our health and how we socialize."

Essential workers like security personnel and first responders are exempted, as are those who have to go to work.

"We have 22 cases in Orange County involving COVID-19, that's up from the 14 or 15 from just a couple of days ago. Out of the 22, 19 of those are residents of Orange County.

"The measures that we are taking, we are taking those measures in light of doing the best that we can to control the spread of the COVID-19 virus throughout out community."

Mayor Demings also announced the opening of a testing site in east Orange County in the beginning of next week, as well as a rent assistance program to help those in the county who are renting.

"We are likely going to remain in this state for the foreseeable future."

Earlier Friday afternoon, Gov. DeSantis issued an executive order closing all restaurant dining rooms across the state, leaving them open only for takeout or delivery. Gyms and fitness centers were also closed.

This is a developing story. Please check back for updates.

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