ORLANDO, Fla. (FNN) – During his weekly coronavirus press briefing Monday, Orange County Mayor Jerry Demings announced that more than 3,000 doses of the vaccine were supplied by the Florida Department of Health in Orange County specifically for health care workers who have direct patient contact.
The vaccines will be distributed Saturday, Feb. 6, 2021 at Advent Health’s community vaccination site near Orlando International Airport. The vaccinations are available to any eligible health care worker, regardless of health system affiliation. Appointments are required by all eligible health care workers.
Vaccine Details to Consider:
- There is no out-of-pocket cost for receiving the vaccine.
- The COVID vaccine requires two doses, and those who receive their first vaccine at the airport site will be asked to schedule their second vaccine appointment.
- Proof of health care employment is required upon registration.
- As part of the vaccine process, those receiving the vaccine will be required to stay on-site for at least 15 minutes to ensure there are no adverse reactions. Most reported side effects are mild and include arm soreness, fatigue and headache. AdventHealth will have medical professionals on hand to assist with any reactions.
If you would like further information and to register, go to www.CoronavirusVaccineAlerts.com
Continued efforts are underway to supply the demand for vaccines in Orange County and across the state. The state currently has a phased allocation plan while the vaccine doses are in limited supply.
Orange County continues to follow the required prioritization set by the State of Florida in directing the first vaccinations to front line health care workers, residents of long-term care facilities, as well as any Florida residents aged 65 and older.
In Orange County 84,055 residents have received their first dose of the vaccine. Residents who are fully vaccinated and have had both doses are 19,051.
Residents aged 65 and older can register for their vaccine by visiting ocfl.net/Vaccine.
Orange County residents and tourists who want to be tested for COVID-19 can do so for free by going to the Orange County Convention Regional testing site. Orange County’s Health Services free testing site runs seven days per week through the end of February. For more information about COVID testing, visit ocfl.net/testing.
On February 1, 2021 there were a total 103,649 COVID cases reported since the start of the pandemic. A total of 958 orange county residents have died from the virus.
This pandemic has brought about a lot of destruction on so many levels, but on a positive note, Mayor Jennings mentioned that the 14-day positivity rate has decreased and could bring the trend below 10% next week.
Mayor Demings said the “bad news, bars and nightclubs are falling behind.” Business Compliance and Strike Teams were out this past weekend checking on four local bars and nightclubs and of them none were in compliance. Patrons were not wearing masks and they weren’t social distancing. This week more visits will be made to ensure businesses are following the rules. Consequences of not following the orders include a warning and then a $300.00 citation.
The Strike Teams have visited over 1500 businesses since Mayor Demings signed an executive order allowing these teams to warn and fine non-compliant businesses. There have been 103 warnings and 21 citations made to area businesses.
Kathleen Michelle is the Politics Associate Editor for Florida National News. | firstname.lastname@example.org
State Rep. Morales Urges Gov. DeSantis to Assist Puerto Rico in the Wake of Hurricane Fiona
ORLANDO, Fla. – State Representative Daisy Morales (D-Orlando) has sent a letter to the Governor urging him to assist with and release much needed resources to aid Puerto Rico in the wake of the catastrophic damage caused by Hurricane Fiona.
The letter reads:
“Dear Governor DeSantis,
“With the five-year anniversary of Hurricane Maria right behind us, Hurricane Fiona, which has now dealt catastrophic damage to Puerto Rico according to Governor Pedro Pierluisi, is an opportunity for us to help our loved ones on the Island.
“With expected flooding, mudslides and blackouts, conditions are extremely dangerous.
“I’m asking the Executive Office of the Governor and the Division of Emergency Management to closely monitor the situation and begin preparations for relief efforts. I am also asking your office to facilitate discussions with city and county governments, and transportation authorities, to prepare for a potential influx of our fellow citizens from Puerto Rico, as was the case with Hurricane Maria. I am also asking your office to assist with the potable water residents of the island needs with the contamination of its existing water supply. Florida, and in particular Central Florida, will always stand with and support Puerto Rico.
“My district, District 48, has one of the largest Puerto Rican populations in the state and I know that, like myself, many Floridians are concerned for the safety and well-being of friends and loved ones currently there.
“Puerto Rico is still rebuilding from Hurricane Maria and must now redouble its efforts in the wake of Hurricane Fiona. Florida must be committed to doing everything we can to help the families impacted by Hurricane Fiona and aid in the recovery process.
“Thank you for your consideration.”
Other governors have already stepped into action, some as early as Sunday. Pennsylvania governor Tom Wolf announced that two members of Pennsylvania Task Force 1 (PATF-1) Urban Search & Rescue (US&R) are deploying to Puerto Rico to support response operations there. They will serve with a federal Incident Support Team and are prepared to remain deployed in Puerto Rico for up to two weeks.
New York governor Kathy Hochul said in a statement Sunday that “the New York State Division of Homeland Security and Emergency Services is monitoring the storm closely and will be able to rapidly deploy assistance if requested by the federal government and Puerto Rico.”
Thus far, it appears that Florida governor Ron DeSantis has not yet taken action.
Brother Jimmy’s BBQ Brings the South to Your Mouth at ICON Park
ORLANDO, Fla. (FNN) – “Put some south in yo’ mouth.”– Brother Jimmy’s BBQ certainly delivers on its motto at ICON Park on International Drive.
The barbecue chain, launched in North Carolina in 1989, opened its new location at ICON Park in early August and opened its doors to the media Wednesday, providing a sample of rich ribs (both sauced and dry rub), pulled pork, mac and cheese, baked beans, cornbread, and tea (sweet and unsweetened).
Brother Jimmy’s BBQ cuisine is made fresh in-house, with the butcher chopping, seasoning, smoking and slicing fresh meat before your very eyes. Utensils await diners in tall receptacles on each table, next to a small container showcasing three barbecue sauces: Original, North Carolina, and Chipotle; and in true southern charm, diners can enjoy their drinks in mason jars.
The 7,200-plus square foot restaurant offers an open, inviting dining experience that lulls you to stay a while. The furniture there was taken directly from the restaurant’s New York location and shows some “personality” in the slight wear of the wood and unique giant metal pig figurines peppering several tables. The restaurant offers its own photo both (and a board close to the main entrance to post the pics for others to see), tons of TV screens to watch whichever game you wish to see, and the whole back half of the establishment is a mini-arcade with pinball, mini basketball, and yes, beer pong. Also, kids eat free at Brother Jimmy’s BBQ with the purchase of one entree.
Looking for some good barbecue in a great atmosphere? Learn more and check out the menu on the Brother Jimmy’s BBQ website.
Mellissa Thomas is Editor for Florida National News. | email@example.com
Gov. DeSantis Announces Toll Relief Program
ORLANDO, Fla. (FNN) – Florida Governor Ron DeSantis announced a new toll relief program at the Florida Turnpike Headquarters Thursday.
The SunPass Savings Program launches on September 1, 2022 and will run for six months and will benefit SunPass and other Florida transponder users. According to a press release from the governor’s office, the program “is estimated to provide $38 million in relief to SunPass commuters.” Eligible roadways include the Turnpike, the 528, 95 Express, I-4 Express, Palmetto Expressway, the Sawgrass Expressway, and many others. The complete map of included roadways can be found at www.sunpass.com.
With the savings program, drivers who have 40-79 transactions per month will receive a 20 percent discount, and drivers who rack up 80 or more transactions per month receive a 25 percent discount. Gov. DeSantis acknowledged other toll organizations and the fact that they’re independent of the Florida government and outside of his authority, but said that a deal can be made legislatively.
“This program will help frequent SunPass customers keep more money in their pockets during a time of growing inflation,” said Gov. DeSantis. “Florida families who depend on these FDOT facilities for a timely commute to work will benefit from these savings. We will, of course, seek to enact greater savings for commuters in the next legislative session.”
“The SunPass Savings program is a way for us to give back to our loyal customers and thank them for their continued support,” said FDOT Secretary Jared W. Perdue, P.E. “FDOT and Florida’s Turnpike Enterprise are proud to offer this additional cost-saving benefit.”
The governor reiterated the upcoming gas tax holiday in October, but spent much of his commentary slamming President Joe Biden’s economic policy, including the most recent law canceling student loan debt for millions of Americans, which Biden announced Wednesday. DeSantis said President Biden making that a law was unconstitutional. When Florida National News asked Gov. DeSantis how it was unconstitutional, he pointed out that it needs to go through Congress. “Could the Congress pass a law that passes that on to the taxpayer? I believe they probably would have the Constitutional duty to do it–I’m not saying that’s a good idea,” he explained. “But for an executive action through fiat to sanction and to just say you’re dumping this debt on the taxpayers, that is not something that is consistent with the rule of law.”
Mellissa Thomas is Editor for Florida National News. | firstname.lastname@example.org