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Orange County Leaders Deploy Strike Teams, Warn Residents to Avoid Large Gatherings Ahead of Super Bowl

Photo: Elevate
Photo: Elevate

Orange County Mayor Jerry Demings reminded Orange County residents to follow COVID-19 health protocols while watching the Super Bowl on Sunday. 

Demings - sporting a Tampa Bay Buccaneers pin - said people should limit gatherings to family members only and avoid large parties completely. 

He said he’s already activated the compliance strike teams to monitor bars and clubs in the community this weekend. 

“However, that does not mean that the bars and nightclubs can’t operate and do so in a safe manner. Our goal is to ensure that people can gather and do so safely and we encourage them to have a good time while watching the game.”

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Orange County Health Director Raul Pino confirmed the first case of the UK COVID variant in a county resident who contracted it on a trip to Mexico. 

He says it is critically important that residents don’t let their guard down with these new variants, and continue to wear face masks and maintain social distancing. 

“These variants seem to be more infectious, spread rapidly and they in some cases seem to be deadlier than the ones that were circulating before. If that's even possible."

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More than 103,000 residents in the county have gotten sick with COVID-19 and 990 have died since mid-March.

Danielle Prieur covers education in Central Florida.