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Intersection: Orange County Mayor Jerry Demings On Pandemic Response; Epidemiologist Asal Johnson; Orlando Restaurants Fight For Survival

After calls mounted for governor Ron DeSantis to lock down the state and try to stop the spread of coronavirus, on Wednesday the governor announced a statewide stay at home order. Orange County’s stay at home order began last week. 

On this episode of Intersection we talk to mayor Jerry Demings about why he thinks that was the right call.  Demings says the peak of this epidemic is likely still weeks away, and the death toll for the state could climb into the thousands. He says the next week will be critical as Central Florida hospitals prepare for a surge in patients. We also talk about the economic impact of the pandemic-- with 30 thousand people applying to the county’s emergency rental assistance program in just 12 days. 

Then- Stetson University epidemiologist Asal Johnson explains the efforts to slow the spread of this deadly virus as case numbers increase in Florida. Dr. Johnson tells Intersection more testing is still needed to fully understand the virus. 

And- restaurants are struggling to stay afloat with their dining rooms shuttered and takeout service only. We talk to Orlando Sentinel multimedia food reporter Amy Drew Thompson, Orlando Weekly restaurant critic Faiyaz Kara, and Matt Hinckley, chef and owner of Hinckley Fancy Meats, about how restaurants are trying to survive the pandemic.