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