ORLANDO, Fla. — As the CDC continues to urge that people stay home for the Thanksgiving holiday, many are continuing ahead with their travel plans.

What You Need To Know

  • CDC recommends that people stay home, do not travel for Thanksgiving

  • Convention Center, Barnett Park testing sites experiencing longer lines from holiday demand

  • Florida's COVID-19 positivity rate has increased

Coronavirus cases are rising here in Florida, particularly in Orange County.

While the number of cases are increasing, the percentage of hospitalizations and deaths remains steady.

There were longer than usual lines at both the Orange County Convention Center and the site at Barnett Park COVID-19 testing sites on Monday, from those who choose to travel and visit family this Thanksgiving.

“We’re getting tested just to be safe but we’re planning on spending the holidays with family,” said Giovana Purto.

The CDC issued an alert on its website, stating “COVID-19 cases, hospitalizations, and deaths across the United States are rising.”

Spectrum News dug into the data provided by Florida Department of Health and compared the numbers from November 20 to numbers from 3 weeks prior.

November 20:

  • Total cases: 931,828
  • Hospitalizations: 53,266 (6% of all cases)
  • Deaths: 17,930 (2% of all cases)
  • Percent positivity rate: 6.79%


  • Total cases: 54,341
  • Hospitalizations: 1,741 (3% of all cases)
  • Deaths: 625 (1% of all cases)
  • Percent positivity rate: 6.31%

October 30:


  • Total cases: 802,547
  • Hospitalizations: 49,338 (6% of all cases)
  • Deaths: 16,761 (2% of all cases)
  • Percent positivity rate: 6.32%


  • Total cases: 46, 434
  • Hospitalizations: 1,601 (3% of all cases)
  • Deaths: 560 (1% of all cases)
  • Percent positivity rate: 6.37%

Three weeks ago, Florida’s positivity rate was 6.32%. On November 20, it was 6.79%.

Three weeks ago in Orange County, the positivity rate was 6.37%. On November 20, it fell to 6.31%. Good news, but not great. At the beginning of October, it was 4.13%.

Mike Jachles is a spokesman for the Orange County Convention Center COVID-19 testing site. He said they’ve recently seen a large spike in demand for testing.

“What we know is right now we’re seeing an increase in demand because of the holidays, because of the positivity rates,” explained Jachles.

For those who still plan to travel or celebrate Thanksgiving with family and friends, they hope by getting tested they’ll be able to enjoy with a little less worry.

“We are worried because of the cases increasing, so to be safe, we decided to come test again,” said Purto.

It will likely take until the middle of December to know how much of an impact Thanksgiving celebrations and travel have on numbers, as it takes up to two weeks for people to show signs of COVID-19.

You can find your closest Orange County COVID-19 testing site.