Good morning and welcome to another Positive week! Here are the 5 Things You Need To Know in and around Osceola County:
- There’s a couple changes to COVID-19 testing in Osceola County this week.
With new cases of coronavirus at their highest numbers since the pandemic started, the demand for testing has risen just as fast. So take note of these changes in local testing sites.
The Florida Department of Health, which normally offers testing by appointment on Mondays and Friday, will offer it each day this week through Friday at its office at 1875 Fortune Road in Kissimmee. Appointments are required and there are no symptom criteria for testing. Call 407-343-2000 to schedule an appointment.
The testing site at Prescriptions Unlimited in St. Cloud will now be open from 9 to 11 a.m., and more importantly, now requires appointments. To schedule, call 689-210-2080.
Testing is still available Tuesday through Thursday at Sunrise Pharmacy near Poinciana, and on Tuesdays and Thursday at the Osceola Community Health Services locations in Poinciana and Kissimmee. For all the details go to Osceola.org/covid19testing.
- AAA expects that families will still be going on vacation this summer, and most will be by car.
You were quarantined for the month of April, so who can blame you for wanting to get away this summer for a well-deserved vacation?
Despite the COVID-19 pandemic, you won’t be alone, especially if you’re hitting the road. AAA says Americans will take a combined 700 million trips. It sounds like a lot, but that’s down 15 percent compared to last July through September, and is the first decline in summer travel since 2009.
Of that number of trips, AAA estimates that 683 million of them will be road trips. So, by their math, Air travel will be off by about 74 percent.
AAA travel experts have begun to see positive trends in travel, noting that hotel and rental car bookings have gradually increased since April. Air travel has been slower to rebound. The share of travelers making plans 48 hours to 7 days before departure – a sign that people are arranging last-minute trips – is significantly higher than normal.
- Osceola County will start taking online applications for $3.2 million in small business relief – and all resident-owned businesses are eligible.
The Osceola County Commission agreed to use 20 percent of a Federal CARES Act distribution of $16.3 million on small business assistance. Businesses can apply beginning today at www.weveopenedsafely.com.
Originally, the county had set aside $500,000 for the program, and only made it available to businesses in unincorporated Osceola County. It is now available to businesses throughout Osceola County, including the cities of Kissimmee and St. Cloud, and even includes home-based businesses.
The one-time grant will provide emergency funding of up to $2,500 for home-based businesses, $5,000 for all businesses with 2-25 employees, and $10,000 for businesses with 26 or more employees. The application deadline with all supporting documents is Monday, July 27 at 5 p.m. Applicants will be notified of grant approval status via email no later than Monday, August 10.
- The Osceola County School District will continue to provide free breakfast and lunch to students and families four days a week through July 16.
Meals will continue to be distributed Monday through Thursday from 9 a.m. to noon at 14 sites across the county, from Kissimmee to St. Cloud to Poinciana to Intercession City to Celebration.
The food is handed through vehicle windows to limit contact. Students aren’t required to be present to get the meals, but patents should provide school ID for children not present. Lynx is still offering free bus service to the nearest stop to the meal sites, but parents must have their children with them.
For more information and a list of the meal sites, visit OsceolaSchools.net/summerfeeding.
- Here’s a fun one to end the list and send you into Monday: the new Bourne Stuntacular stunt show will debut at Universal Studios on Tuesday, with a special virtual sneak peek tonight.
The Bourne Stuntacular, based on Universal Pictures’ blockbuster Bourne film franchise, will be Universal’s most technologically-advanced stunt show yet. The all-new show will fully immerse guests in the world of Jason Bourne through groundbreaking technology, including an immense LED screen and high-tech props, to incredible live performers executing extreme stunts at heights up to 22 feet, and impressive effects that will have guests feeling gusts of wind and the heat of explosive flames.
To celebrate the opening of The Bourne Stuntacular, Universal Orlando will debut a virtual sneak peek of the show tonight at 7 p.m. on the Universal Orlando YouTube Channel. The sneak peek will feature special guests from the Bourne film franchise, a behind-the-scenes look at what it took to bring the show to life, as well as a preview of the action-packed stunt show itself. For more information about The Bourne Stuntacular and the virtual opening celebration, visit www.UniversalOrlando.com.
And now for the weather. Expect it to be much the same weather of the weekend, hot and dry with a little bit of haze thanks to that Saharan dust that’s been around for a few days. Expect a high temperature of 97, with the heat index getting as high as 105. The rain chance is a little higher than the weekend at 40 percent. Any storms that pop up will end in the evening, and we’ll see partly cloudy skies with a low of 76.