ORLANDO, Fla. -- Orange County is just over a day away from a ‘stay-at-home’ order taking effect.
- Orange County "stay at home" order goes into effect Thursday at 11 p.m.
- Non-essential businesses will be closing as a result
- J. Henry's Barbershop seeing last bit of customers before closure
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Mayor Jerry Demings signed the order into effect, ordering people to stay at home unless it is necessary and with it, closing many businesses around the county.
The mayor's directive, which goes into effect Thursday at 11 p.m., will last two weeks and orders non-essential businesses to close and people to stay home when possible until April 9.
Already, the effect of that decision is rippling across Orlando.
“I’m just praying that we get through it,” said Leroy Owens, a barber at J. Henry's Barbershop in Orlando.
The barbers at J. Henry’s are fitting in their final haircuts before the county orders them to close their shop Thursday evening. Barber Lee Garner said he's never dealt with something like this before.
“I don’t know if I remember taking three days off. But no, two weeks off? I’ve never been through something like that,” Garner said.
“We’re not upset about the situation. But we are very, very concerned about how long we’re going to be out,” said J. Henry, owner of J. Henry's Barbershop.
Cleaning off stations inside carefully, the men sanitize everything from chairs and equipment to countertops and mirrors, taking care not to miss one spot with the alcohol-based cleaners.
Here, the stay-at-home order is on every mind.
“Well the first thing that pops in my mind is my kids,” said Leroy Owens, a barber at J. Henry's.
“We’re open, come on in,” said Jeff Borysiewicz, President of the Corona Cigar Co. They're seeing a string of customers flood in, ready to get in a final cigar before the Corona Cigar Co. closes its two shops Thursday night.
Borysiewicz said they can afford to stay afloat closing down for the two weeks, but his biggest concern with the stay at home order isn't about the business or himself.
“Which is our employees. Which is that, we want to make sure people can still have a paycheck,” Borysiewicz said.
Mail order will keep them going for now, as their two shops close. But Borysiewicz says once they find a way to protect the people from coronavirus.
“We’ve got to figure out how now to keep the businesses alive,” Borysiewicz said.
His neighbors at Bay Hill Florist stop by to drop off flowers they won't be able to sell any longer as their shop too closes down.
Around Orlando, the days feel strange, marking an unusual stretch for many in the area.
“Very, very uncertain," J. Henry said. “And if you don’t believe in God, it’s time to believe in him now."
Everyone inside J. Henry's and around town is staying hopeful, sharing the faith that business can bounce back. That hope echoing around town is striking a chord with many in the community.
“For certain, we’ll be back. Much stronger,” Owens said.
Orange County Sheriff John Mina has stressed the order is not an attempt to make arrests, but to keep the county safe.
If you break the rules, you could face a $500 fine or jail time.