Orange Co. mayor will require all county employees to be vaccinated as COVID cases rise

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ORANGE COUNTY, Fla. (WFLA) – Orange County Mayor Jerry Demings has signed a State of Local Emergency urging all residents and visitors to wear masks when in an indoor space with others whether they are vaccinated or unvaccinated.

According to WESH 2 News, Demings said he wants residents and visitors to follow updated CDC guidelines to avoid a shutdown. According to the CDC, the entire state of Florida is considered a high transmission area with the state accounting for a fifth of the nation’s new coronavirus infections last week, more than any other state.

In addition, the mayor announced that all non-union county employees must be fully vaccinated by the end of September. That means county employees will need to have at least one shot by the end of August.

Requirement for union employees will be negotiated with bargaining units.

Demings earlier this week said the area was “in crisis mode” as area hospitals are approaching capacity and the county’s positivity rate had tripled to 14% from about 4.3% a month ago.

The news comes as Gov. DeSantis continues to oppose mask mandates at public schools as Florida leads the nation in new coronavirus cases. DeSantis has been firmly opposed to lockdown restrictions, mask mandates and vaccine passports, signing a bill into law that prevents businesses to ask for proof of vaccination and local governments from imposing COVID restrictions.

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