NEWS: Orange County Mayor “Re-Evaluating” Relaxing Mask and Distancing Mandates

Walt Disney World recently relaxed their face mask policies in the parks, and it seemed that Orange County, Florida would be following suit sometime soon.

Guests are now allowed to take maskless photos when distanced from others outdoors.

But, the changes to mask mandates and distancing procedures in Central Florida may not be changing as soon as originally expected.

Today, in a press conference with Orange County Mayor Demings, he shared that they are re-evaluating their phased approach to removing face mask and distancing mandates.

Health and safety signage in Disney Springs

Just last week Demings was considering changing mandates soon, but he commented today saying that “it’s going to likely be several months before you can see [a] significant reduction in wearing facial coverings.” Though, he does think that a change in social distancing requirements could come sooner.

Resort Health and Safety Signs

He also shared that he is working with health officials to examine three areas of concern before making any decisions moving forward. He referenced a recent uptick in the COVID-19 positivity rate for the county over the last two months, a slight increase in hospitalizations, and the impact that the pause on the Johnson & Johnson vaccine may have on the vaccination rate. All of these factors are causing officials to reconsider any upcoming changes.

Health and Safety Signs in Disney World

Mayor Demings also commented that they would need to reach at least a 50% vaccination rate before they can move forward with significantly relaxing the mask mandates. And, currently, only 30% of the population is vaccinated.

COVID-19 vaccination tents are set up in the north of the Toy Story parking lot at the Disneyland Resort (Photo by Jeff Gritchen, Orange County Register/SCNG)

So, it may be a bit longer before Central Florida sees any changes to the COVID-19 mandates, but we will continue to keep an eye out for updates! Stay tuned to AllEars for the latest!

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