Florida County Home to Disney World in 'Crisis Mode' Over COVID Surge

The mayor of Florida's Orange County, home of Walt Disney World, said on Monday that the county is now in "crisis mode" amid a surge of COVID-19 cases.

During a recent press conference, Orange County Mayor Jerry Demings said that over the past few days, the county "is seeing nearly 1,000 new cases" in the county daily.

"Those are the numbers we saw at the highest peak last year. It took us approximately one month last year before we saw 1,000 cases cumulatively here within Orange County. Now we're seeing them daily," Demings said. "So a thousand a day is extraordinary. We are now in crisis mode."

"Many of you cannot afford to get sick. Many of you do not want to get sick. You do not want to infect your family members, just like me," Demings continued. "The time really is now, like no other time in our community, for you to step up to the plate and get vaccinated. We have loved ones who depend on us."

As Demings called on Orange County residents to get vaccinated against COVID-19, he displayed a graphic during the press conference showing that approximately 62 percent of residents 12 years and older have received at least one dose of the vaccine.

In addition to Demings saying that Orange County is in "crisis mode," the chief medical officer of the largest hospital chain in Central Florida said its hospitals have moved into the "red zone" amid a surge in COVID-19 cases, some of which are caused by the Delta variant.

"We are approaching an all-time high, in terms of our inpatient number of COVID-19 cases, which is a stretch in our capacity," AdventHealth Chief Medical Officer Dr. Victor Herrera said at a press conference on Monday.

Herrera said amid the surge in COVID-19 hospitalizations at AdventHealth, at least 94 percent of patients are unvaccinated.

"If somebody gets a COVID-19 vaccine, based on what we've seen, their chances of being hospitalized, are very low, or probably way less than 1 percent," Herrera said.

Florida as a whole has also seen a rise in COVID-19 cases as officials continue to stress the importance of getting inculcated.

During a recent press briefing, White House pandemic response coordinator Jeff Zients said that 40 percent of all new cases last week were reported in Florida, Missouri and Texas. Over the past two previous weeks, Florida has accounted for 20 percent of all new COVID-19 cases, according to Zients.

Newsweek reached out to Demings for further comment but did not receive a response in time for publication.

Florida County in "crisis mode"
The mayor of Orange County Florida said on Monday that the county is now in "crisis mode" amid a surge of COVID-19 cases. Above, volunteers, health care workers and doctors participate in a protest against what they say is the city's and county's poor response to helping the homeless during the coronavirus outbreak on April 17, 2020 in Miami. Joe Raedle/Getty