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Orange County Won't Fire Employees Who Aren't Fully Vaccinated by Halloween

Photo: Orange County Mayor Jerry Demings
Photo: Orange County Mayor Jerry Demings

Orange County Mayor Jerry Demings has announced a cap on disciplinary actions that can be taken against county employees who aren't fully vaccinated by Halloween.

Mayor Jerry Demings put a policy in place requiring all county employees to get a first dose of a COVID shot by September 30th and to be fully vaccinated by October 31st. 

Demings says 94 percent of non-union employees and 69 percent of union employees are in compliance with this policy so far.

But he says he wants to make it clear that no one will be fired if they aren’t inoculated in time. 

“It was never my intention to terminate anyone from our employment. Instead, my desire and goal was to increase the rate of vaccinations amongst our employees and we’ve accomplished that.”

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Demings says non-compliant employees can only be reprimanded in writing and additional health screenings will be put in place for them. 

“We are a compassionate and caring employer, but we must also balance that with protecting our employees and the public. So I want to ensure those who are not in compliance that they understand, they should not be in fear of losing their jobs or their incomes in order to support their families.”

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Some 600 Orange County firefighters have still not gotten the shot.

Danielle Prieur covers education in Central Florida.