This morning, Orange County Mayor Jerry L. Demings shared an announcement that the county’s mask mandate will be amended in phases, as a result of the latest COVID-19 recommendations from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).
Based upon the newly-issued guidance from the CDC for fully vaccinated people, Orange County, Fla. will adjust current mandates in three phases:
- Phase 1: Effective immediately, residents may reduce physical distance from six to three feet in all settings. Fully vaccinated people should continue to follow current CDC guidelines for wearing masks.
- Phase 2: Effective when 50% of the population ages 16 and older has received their first dose of the COVID-19 vaccine. Mask mandates will be lifted for all individuals in outdoor settings. Physical distancing of at least 3 feet between groups is encouraged. Facial coverings will still be required indoors, except when eating or drinking.
- Phase 3: Effective when 70% of the population ages 16 and older has received their first dose of the vaccine and/or Orange County’s 14-day rolling positivity rate is 5% or lower, all mandates will be lifted.
But what does this mean for the parks? Orange County’s theme parks are businesses, and as such, will be able to set their own rules — though it is expected that they will follow the lead of the county. Keeping that in mind, in about three weeks, if we meet the proper vaccination threshold, we could see mask rules change at the parks.
It is expected that Orange County could reach Phase 2 of the mandate relaxation in two to three weeks, though that timeframe is fluid and can be longer or shorter depending on the rate of vaccination.
What do you think of these updates for the face mask mandate in Orange County? Are you excited to potentially not have to wear masks outdoors at the parks? Share your thoughts with us in the comments.