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Florida Department of Health Threatens Orange County Over Vaccine Mandate. Here's How Mayor Demings is Responding.

Photo: Mayor Jerry Demings
Photo: Mayor Jerry Demings

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

The letter from the Florida Department of Health to Orange County was sent at almost 5 pm last Friday night. 

Orange County Mayor Jerry Demings says the letter warns the county it will be fined for each violation of Gov. Ron DeSantis’ order banning 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 only receive a written reprimand.

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

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

“County Attorney Newton is reviewing the letter and will be responding this week. Attorney Newton is here for this press briefing today.”

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So far, some 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.

About a third of all firefighters and a quarter of all corrections officers in the Orlando area have gotten sick.

Danielle Prieur is WMFE's education reporter.
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