Orange County mayor: Employees who don’t comply with COVID-19 vaccine mandate won’t be fired

ORANGE COUNTY, Fla. — Orange County Mayor Jerry Demings said county employees who do not comply with the county’s COVID-19 vaccine mandate will not be fired.

He said instead, those employees will be given a “written reprimand.”

READ: Orange County seeing increase in employee vaccination rate, mayor says

Demings said the decision comes after conversations with the firefighters’ union.

“I believe the decisions we’ve made have been in the best interest of everyone, including our firefighters. this is the right balance I think going forward,” Demings said.

As of Thursday, Demings said 84% of all Orange County employees have gotten at least one dose of the vaccine or have had accommodations granted. Of those, 94% of non-union employees have received at least one shot and 69% of union employees.

READ: Vaccine mandate protesters prepare for recall effort against Orange County mayor

Demings said about 55% of firefighters have turned in their proof of vaccination.

He said as of Thursday, 73% of the county’s eligible population has received at least one dose of the vaccine.

Since the mayor’s last news conference on Monday, he said 45 additional COVID-19 deaths have been reported in the county. That brings the county’s total death toll since the pandemic began to 1,922.

READ: Firefighters protest against Orange County vaccine mandate

The deadliest month of the pandemic so far in Orange County was August, with 401 coronavirus-related deaths that month as of Thursday.

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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.