85 new COVID-19 deaths reported in Orange County since Monday

ORANGE COUNTY, Fla. — Orange County health officials said there have been 85 more COVID-19 deaths reported in the county since Monday.

A portion of those deaths happened in July and August.

READ: FDA advisers debate COVID-19 booster shots, board votes not to approve additional shot

At Orange County’s COVID-19 update on Friday, talk about vaccinations continued, as the clock is ticking for all county workers to be vaccinated or face termination.

In the meantime, Gov. Ron DeSantis is beginning to issue fines to counties like Orange that are mandating vaccines.

READ: Here’s where you can get monoclonal antibody treatment for COVID-19 in Florida

Mayor Jerry Demings said he is not budging on the mandate.

Right now about 78% of county workers have had at least one shot, but hundreds more are not vaccinated.

Demings said they are still in negotiations with the firefighter’s union, but union members tell us about 600 won’t get vaccinated or won’t upload their vaccination cards.

READ: Man exonerated after 16 years on Louisiana’s death row dies of COVID-19

Demings said he doesn’t want to fire those who won’t get vaccinated, and that there is progressive discipline the county will follow, but she hopes they can work it out at the bargaining table.

That seems unlikely, as firefighters plan to sue the county over the mandate.

Firefighters are scheduled to hold a rally Saturday in support of Orange County firefighters who say they should not be forced to be vaccinated.

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Sarah Wilson

Sarah Wilson, WFTV.com

Sarah Wilson joined WFTV Channel 9 in 2018 as a digital producer after working as an award-winning newspaper reporter for nearly a decade in various communities across Central Florida.