Good morning and welcome to Friday, you’ve made it to the end of another week! Here are the 5 Things You Need To Know in and around Osceola County:
- Age 25-34 now leading demographic among Osceola County’s 1,321 COVID-19 cases.
COVID-19 cases continue to increase in Florida, and Osceola County is caught up in it.
The 25-34 age group is now the leading demographic for all cases in the county, going back to March 13. Prior to the last seven days, cases were spread nearly evenly across ages from the 20s to the 60s, although hospitalizations (ages 55-74) and deaths (ages 65+) have been concentrated in the older ages.
The median age for all cases reported over the last 3 ½ months is down to 41. It was in the late 40s.
The Florida Department of Health reported 99 new cases in this morning’s report; it’s noteworthy because most of the days in May featured single-digits of cases. But no new fatalities (24) or hospitalizations (186) were reported.
- If you don’t use a toll transponder on Osceola Parkway, your tolls will be increasing by $1.
Effective Wednesday, July 1, Osceola Parkway toll rates will increase by $1 for drivers who use toll-by-plate chargers rather than transponders for toll collections at the Shingle Creek and Poinciana Boulevard toll plazas. Otherwise, current rates for SunPass or E-Pass transponder users will remain the same: $2 at the main line toll plaza for a 2-axle vehicle and $2 for each additional axle, and $1 for all vehicles at the Poinciana Boulevard exit.
The solution? Get a transponder. They’re available online at GetEpass.com or SunPass.com, or by phone at 800-353-7277. Transponders are also available at one of more than 3,100 retail locations including Publix Super Markets, CVS Pharmacy, Walgreens, Amscot Financial and Sedano’s Supermarkets.
- The Kissimmee Police Department has taken the wraps off its new indoor training facility and has started moving in.
The indoor training complex, off John Young Parkway south of downtown Kissimmee, replaces the outdoor training site on Hoagland Boulevard. An indoor training complex increases safety and the ability to train at any time. The non-descript building was built on donated land from the Hastings family and backs up to Pleasant Hill Elementary.
The main attraction is a 20-lane, 50-yard shooting range that is soundproofed. It also includes a defensive tactic lab and office space, so the building will always be staffed. There is a tower that Kissimmee Fire Department can also use for training, that KPD will use for scenario-based tactical training. Officers and staff will be able to train longer because the weather won’t be an issue.
- Disney has pushed back the planned July 17 reopening of its California parks.
The State of California indicated that it will not issue theme park reopening guidelines until sometime after July 4. So what does this have to do with the opening of the Disney parks here? It remains to be seen if the action in California will affect the Walt Disney World plan to open its four theme parks on July 11 and 15.
On Tuesday, California saw 7,149 confirmed cases of COVID-19, which marked a record for the state. Florida had 5,511 cases reported Wednesday, its all-time high. Here in Florida, Disney workers started an online petition to have the company push back the opening dates for the parks in in regard to health and safety because of the increase in virus cases.
- SeaWorld is going forward with July 4th fireworks, but you need reservations.
Local cities have canceled their Fourth of July fireworks spectaculars in order to prevent big gatherings that we can’t have right now due to social gathering restrictions and the coronavirus pandemic, but Sea World will still bring us the rockets red glare.
SeaWorld will be open 10 to 9 p.m. for the holiday weekend next week, including the fireworks show on Saturday, July 4th. But you will still need to purchase tickets online and make a reservation for the 4th, and keep in mind the park is still operating at a percentage of capacity, so do it quickly if you want to go.
Also be sure to bring your mask, as they are required in the park except in secluded “relaxation areas”, and make use of SeaWorld’s hand washing and sanitizing stations.
And now for the weather. Expect today to be another hot and mostly dry afternoon, with a potential high temperature of 96, with the heat index getting as high as 105. There’s just a 20 percent chance of thunderstorms in the late afternoon to early evening. Tonight it will be partly cloudy and still warm, with a low of 75. Have a great weekend and I’ll see you on Monday morning.