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Orange County Mayor: Fines for Noncompliant Businesses Target 'Bad Actors'

Leon County Judge John Cooper on June 30, 2022, in a screen grab from The Florida Channel.
Orange County
The Florida Channel
Orange County Mayor Jerry Demings' executive order calls for fines on noncompliant businesses ranging from $500 to $15,000.

Orange County Mayor Jerry Demings on Friday signed an executive order that will allow businesses found to be noncompliant with health protocols to be fined.

Demings said businesses that don’t require social distancing and facial coverings can be written up by strike teams or law enforcement officers and fined from $500 to $15,000.

“I call them bad actors because these are the ones who act like they care about the personal safety of others when in fact they only care about their bottom line. They put profit over people,” said Demings.

The order went into effect Sunday.

Orange County Health Director Raul Pino said the order was necessary to make sure that local health care assets, including intensive care units and ventilators, don’t need to be rationed.

Pino said it will also help health care workers reduce burnout and fatigue from caring for COVID-19 patients.

“And not even Army training would prepare you for these type and number of causalities,” Pino said. “And I don’t want to be graphic, but also the manner and way that people are dying is quite horrific.”

As of Friday, the county had logged more than 60,000 coronavirus cases since mid-March, with the positivity rate at 6.2 percent.

Danielle Prieur