Category Archives: Orange County Government

COVID-19 Update #7 – City of Orlando Supports Orange County to Enact Stay at Home Order

COVID-19 Update #7 – City of Orlando Supports Orange County to Enact Stay at Home Order

March 24, 2020 – Orlando, FL – Today, Orlando Mayor Buddy Dyer joined Orange County Mayor Jerry L. Demings to support the enactment of an emergency Stay at Home order requiring residents to stay in their homes and the closure of non-essential businesses to prevent the further spread of COVID-19.

“The virus does not spread alone, we spread the virus,” said Mayor Dyer in a news conference today announcing the order. “These decisions are not made lightly and we know they will have continued economic and emotional impacts on our community, but we must continue to act now to save lives.”

The county mandate will go into effect March 26, at 11 p.m. and continue for two weeks through Thursday, April 9, 2020 at 11 p.m. The order prohibits things like visiting other people’s homes (except to provide care or supplies), gatherings of more than 10 people and closes all non-essential establishments, including most retail, recreation and entertainment businesses.

Under the county-wide emergency order, essential services will continue to be provided and residents will be allowed to conduct essential activities like going to the grocery store, receiving medical care, or taking their pet for a walk.

The collaborative announcement between the regional leaders further emphasizes the need to take serious actions and measures to suppress the spread of COVID-19 within the community.

“It is our goal that by aggressive action we will help minimize how many people are impacted by this virus and then how quickly residents and businesses can recover financially, said Mayor Dyer. “This is a challenge unlike any we’ve seen before, but I know Orlando is up to it.”

The City of Orlando continues to monitor this ever-evolving situation and will continue to update the City’s website dedicated to the city’s response to Coronavirus (COVID-19) at with the latest information.

Orlando International Airport Implementing Wide-Ranging Sustainability Initiatives

ORLANDO, FL. — From its original design concept to its 2013 Strategic Plan, the Greater Orlando Aviation Authority (GOAA) has consistently recognized sustainability as an essential component in the future health and success of Orlando International Airport (MCO). The GOAA Board has identified goals to reduce the airport’s dependency on fossil fuels; lower demand on potable water; preserve natural lands; divert landfill waste; build more eco-friendly facilities; and support alternative transportation.

Key areas of concentration in MCO’s approach to airport sustainability are economic viability, operational efficiency, natural resource conservation and social responsibility. With an eye on a greener future, airport goals outline reductions in energy usage, solid waste and water consumption:

  • Reduce Energy Use Intensity (EUI) by 10%
    • 9.9% EUI reduction in 2017
    • Total Energy Saved: 15 million kilowatt hours (kwh)
    • Energy use per passenger: 2.73 kwh (down from 3.76 kwh in 2010)
  • Increase waste diversion from landfill by 50%
    • 23% of solid waste diverted in 2017
    • 2,614 tons of general solid waste
    • 6,000 tons of construction waste
  • Reduce Potable Water Use per Passenger by 10%
    • 23% water use reduction in 2017
    • Water use per passenger: 5.69 gal (down from 7.34 gal in 2010)

Since 2010, passenger traffic at Orlando International Airport has increased by 30%.

MCO Recognized for Achieving LEED® Building Program certifications

Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) is a globally recognized symbol of sustainability achievement. LEED® Certified buildings are lowering carbon emissions, creating a healthier environment and reducing operating costs while prioritizing sustainable practices.

The Greater Orlando Aviation Authority was awarded the prestigious LEED® certification for an existing building, another for a new facility and is pursuing certification criteria for current new construction and existing building renovation projects.

The Westfield ARFF Station is a certified LEED® v4 Silver Existing Building and the South Airport Automated People Mover (APM) Complex/Intermodal Terminal Facility (ITF) is LEED® v4 Certified New Construction Complex. Individual accomplishments include:

  • Westfield Aircraft Rescue and Firefighting (ARFF) Station
    • 32% Reduced Energy Cost
    • First Public Order and Safety building in the World to certify LEED v4 O+M
  • South Airport APM/ITF
    • 22% Reduced Energy Cost
    • 36% Reduced Potable Water Use
    • First LEED® v4 New Construction certification in the State of Florida
    • First LEED® v4 New Construction Certified Intermodal Terminal in the World

“In keeping with our Sustainability Management Plan, GOAA is increasing the number of green buildings at MCO, while being environmentally and socially responsible, improving the quality of life for generations to come,” said Phil Brown, Greater Orlando Aviation Authority Chief Executive Officer.

Beehives Offer Multiple Advantages to Airport Ecosystem

The airport apiary consists of more than 200 hives, each containing 20,000 to 90,000 bees.

The airport apiary consists of more than 200 hives, each containing 20,000 to 90,000 bees.

The airport apiary consists of more than 200 hives, each containing 20,000 to 90,000 bees. The colonies are located away from public access at three separate sites in wooded areas among the airport’s more than 13,000 acres. Under a land-use agreement between the Greater Orlando Aviation Authority and an independent beekeeper, portions of Orlando International Airport have become home to approximately 15 million European Honey Bees.

“Bees are vital to creating and maintaining habitats and ecosystems,” says Judith-Ann Jarrette, Greater Orlando Aviation Authority Assistant Director of Operations. “Bees are keeping agriculture locally viable, which is critical for ensuring a safe and accessible food supply and a diverse, more stable economy.”

Bees pollinate many Florida crops, increasing fruit and vegetable quality and yields. European Honey Bees also greatly reduce the potential for feral African Honey Bee colonies. Africanized bees are less desirable for agricultural purposes and are much more aggressive. By providing access to MCO’s wide variety of flowering plants, plant diversity is preserved and other pollinators are allowed to thrive.

Orange County Animal Services Manager Dil Luther provides advice to a new pet owner at a recent dog obedience training class

Orange County Animal Services Manager Dil Luther provides advice to a new pet owner at a recent dog obedience training class.


Orange County Animal Services has now entered its 50th year in operation. Animal sheltering has drastically evolved since that time, when initially the sole mission was to round up and house stray animals. Animal Services has made several progressive changes to benefit the animal community in the recent decade and the addition of the obedience training class is another the shelter believes will result in substantial change.


The new four-week course is designed to provide quick results in the participating dogs and teach lasting training techniques for the handlers, focusing on commands, motivation, leash handling and consistency. The overall goal for the program is simple, to foster a positive and trusting relationship between the dog and new pet parent. By establishing this bond early, the shelter aims to position the pet as a lifelong family member, reducing any risk of return for behavior reasons. 


“There’s no such thing as the perfect dog,” said Dil Luther, manager of Orange County Animal Services and developer of the training program. “The transition from shelter to new home can be challenging for any pet, which is important to recognize, and what we’re providing here is an opportunity for owners to spend quality time with their new pet while they’re introduced to a motivational training regimen. This is an outlet for adopters and their pets to start their relationship on the right foot, and paw.” 


The program just celebrated its first graduates. For the past four Wednesday evenings these dedicated owners and their newly adopted companions met the Animal Services training team at “Oreo Field,” the grassy area adjacent to the shelter affectionately named for a long-time resident. The training team is comprised of skilled and experienced volunteers who spent the weeks prior to the program’s launch learning training maneuvers from Luther, who has acquired nearly 45 years of dog training knowledge.


“The training has helped both me and my dog gain some confidence,” a new student said. “This is my first medium-sized dog, and I’m her first real family, so we both had some learning to do. It was extremely helpful to expose Zola to other dogs because it’s important she focuses on me regardless of who’s around.  This class can help you better connect to your adoptive dog and teach, reinforce those much-needed commands that can help you and your dog stay safe.”


For more information about adoptions and to enroll in the next training program, visit Animal Services online by following the link to their website.  You might just find a friend waiting for you.