What Orlando is talking about
Florida is now leading the country in new reported cases of COVID-19. Experts say the current surge in the U.S. and around the world is being caused by the more infectious Delta variant. According to the Tampa Bay Times, one in five new infections comes from Florida, and the Sunshine State’s caseload has nearly doubled over the last week: 45,604 cases were reported between July 9 and July 15, a significant jump from 23,697 the previous week.
The rise comes not long after Governor Ron DeSantis’ website debuted a new line of merchandise bearing the slogan “Don’t Fauci My Florida”. Locally, Orange County’s COVID-19 numbers are hitting January highs and have Mayor Jerry Demings strongly encouraging even vaccinated residents to wear masks indoors.
In other news…
🚢 A federal appeals court sided with the Centers for Disease Control in its legal battle with DeSantis over pandemic-related rules for cruise lines. A three-judge panel issued an order over the weekend requiring the federal agency’s rules concerning COVID-19 and cruise ships to stay in place. The governor said yesterday that he intends to appeal the decision and vowed to bring it all the way to the U.S. Supreme Court if necessary. (Associated Press /Orlando Weekly)
🏠 Know someone who could use a brief explainer on what’s happening with the moratorium on evictions when it expires next Saturday? The City of Orlando is hosting several educational sessions about its Rental Assistance Program, which can help City of Orlando households impacted by COVID-19 get current on up to 12 months of unpaid rent. Residents can register for next Tuesday or Wednesday’s information sessions at Orlando.gov/assistance under Upcoming Events. (City of Orlando)
🎟 President Joe Biden will join the Hall of Presidents at Disney's Magic Kingdom next month. The long-time attraction has been closed since January's elections while the team works on making the animatronic. (Orlando Sentinel)
🐶 It’s officially National (Pet) Adoption Week and Pet Alliance of Greater Orlando has a goal of adopting out 150 animals between now and Sunday. The animal rescue org is holding cat adoptions all week long at select Lake Mary, Altamonte Springs, and Ocoee PetSmart locations and dog adoptions this weekend at the Lake Mary and Altamonte Springs locations. (Pet Alliance)
🎶 A local singing sister trio is hoping to advance to the next round of "America's Got Talent" tonight. The Winter Springs band, Hello Sister, is made up of three sisters aged 12-, 14-, and 15-years-old, and last week they received the green light and a standing ovation from all four judges. AGT airs on NBC tonight at 8 p.m. (Orlando Sentinel)