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Florida Department of Health Threatens Orange County Over Employee Vaccine Mandate

Demings
Orange County Government
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Mayor Jerry Demings says the letter sent by the Department of Health will most likely results in litigation once the county attorney responds to it this week.

Mayor Jerry Demings says the county is on firm legal ground regarding its COVID vaccine mandate because employees who don’t get the shot can receive only a written reprimand, not termination.

The Florida Department of Health has threatened Orange County with fines for passing a vaccine mandate for county workers. 

Orange County Mayor Jerry Demings says a letter sent late Friday afternoon warns the county it will be fined for each violation of Gov. Ron DeSantis’ order banning local governments from enacting vaccine mandates. 

Demings says it’s unclear how much the fines will be, but he says the county is on firm legal ground regarding the mandate. County employees who don’t get the shot can receive only a written reprimand, not termination.

“As I reported to you on Thursday, no employee will be terminated for not getting vaccinated,” Demings says. 

Demings says the letter will most likely end in litigation once County Attorney Jeffrey Newton responds to it this week.

As of Monday, about 85 percent of all county employees have gotten vaccinated. Demings says the mandate is for the good of county workers, especially first responders who have been especially hard hit by the virus.


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