“These numbers are extraordinary. We are seeing almost 1,000 new cases every day in Orange County. These are the numbers we saw at the highest peak last year, ”Mayor Jerry Demings, a Democrat, said at a press conference on Monday. “So a thousand a day is extraordinary. We are now in crisis mode. ”
Urging residents of the county to get vaccinated, Demings added, “We, as a community, must work together to slow the spread. “
“Residents are still getting vaccinated, but at a slow pace. We need to move the needle faster. 61.59% of Orange County residents aged 12 and over have received at least one shot of the vaccine, ”he said.
The mayor’s comments come as Florida experiences an increase in coronavirus cases, with every county in the state listed as having ‘high’ levels of community transmission, according to data from the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention .
Orange County is not only home to Walt Disney World and Universal Studios Orlando Resort, but also SeaWorld Orlando. Parks have abandoned many of their pandemic-era rules in recent months, including temperature checks for guests. Fully immunized guests do not need to wear face masks in parks, and while Universal does not require social distancing between visitors, its website says the park encourages “all guests to keep a distance. of security between parts of the journey ”.
In the past week, Florida accounted for nearly a quarter of all new cases in the United States – more than any other state.
The rate of cases in the state over the past week – about 49 new cases per 100,000 people every day – is more than three times the US rate of about 16 new cases per 100,000 people every day. Only Arkansas and Louisiana recorded higher case rates over the past week.
Florida has also reported more Covid-19 deaths than any other state over the past week – a total of 282 over the past week – the sixth highest per capita death rate in the country.
The state has fully vaccinated 48.5% of its residents, according to CDC data – below the US rate of 49.1%.
CNN’s Ralph Ellis and Natasha Chen contributed to this report.