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‘We are now in crisis mode’ amid COVID-19 surge, says mayor of Fla. county home to Disney

Published: Jul. 27, 2021 at 5:24 AM MST
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ORANGE COUNTY, Fla. (WESH) - “So a thousand a day is extraordinary. We are now in crisis mode,” said Orange County Mayor Jerry Demings.

Officials in Orange County, the home of Walt Disney World and Universal Studios, said the number of new COVID-19 cases is beyond alarming.

“Now these numbers are extraordinary,” Demings said. “We are seeing nearly 1,000 new cases in Orange County daily. Those are the numbers we saw at the highest peak last year.”

The vast majority of the new cases - the bulk of the people ending up sick in the hospital - have not had a vaccine.

“It is hard to see and, in some ways, frustrating to see people dying in the hospital from a disease that at this point can be prevented with a vaccine that we have,” Dr. Victor Herrera of AdventHealth said.

Advent Health now says across its Central Florida healthcare system, 862 people are admitted and being treated for COVID-19, just a little lower than the 900 being treated in January.

“The numbers are alarming,” said Alan Harris, Seminole County’s emergency manager. “They’re going up, I would say, exponentially at this point. We’re seeing the numbers in the hospitals double each week for the last three weeks.”

Seminole County officials have been saying a vaccine can be easily found at pharmacies, doctor’s offices and local health partners, but vaccines will be available at a different library branch every day this week, as they are trying to reverse the case spike with shots.

“The more hosts we give the virus, the more opportunity it has to continue to grow,” Seminole County Emergency Manager Alan Harris said.

The health department said it hasn’t been this concerning in months.

“For just the last week alone, the total number of cases reported were 1,865, far more than the cases for the entire month of June,” said Donna Walsh of the Florida Department of Health.

The new mobile vaccine site was just the ticket for some.

“I would do it if it was easy and convenient,” Cindy Summers said. “Today was easy and convenient, so I came and did it.”

“Friend of mine got COVID recently, and he’s my age and the new version seems to take people down longer than the old version of COVID, so I was a little concerned there,” Daniel Combs said.

Copyright 2021 WESH via CNN Newsource. All rights reserved. Gray Media Group, Inc., contributed to this report.