Dear Employees:

Please know how much we appreciate your support and flexibility as we continue to navigate the fluid and changing nature of the COVID-19 pandemic. Each week has brought new challenges to overcome as we strive to provide critical services and the best care to our residents, while also keeping the safety of our employees a top priority.

I would especially like to give recognition to those employees working closely with residents who are distressed and in dire need of assistance. You are playing a vital role in ensuring that help and information are executed as accurately and quickly as possible. More importantly, you are providing service during a time many of our residents are feeling most vulnerable, which further demonstrates the valuable role of public servants in our community during this difficult time.

For those employees who are still coming into the office, we have heightened our protective measures to further reduce the spread of germs and COVID-19, including:

  • Obtaining masks and other protective gear for employees to wear while on site
  • Proper sanitization of County buildings and offices, and extra cleaning in areas that are still heavily utilized
  • Closing County buildings to the public, unless an appointment is scheduled
  • Continually updating the COVID-19 Employee Resource page, including information about the Families First Coronavirus Response Act and benefits/wellness information
  • Using WebEx and teleconferencing to conduct meetings when possible
  • Instituting a visitor-screening process in heavy-traffic areas
  • Testing first responders and health care workers (COVID-19, temperature screening)
  • Temperature screening of all visitors to the Corrections Department

We are aggressively working with vendors to purchase more masks, gloves and hand sanitizers with the goal of getting them to your workplaces as quickly as possible.

As County employees, you have done a wonderful job of striking a balance between implementing social distancing measures and making sure residents can still access information and receive essential services. Thank you for serving as an example for our community to follow. If you have any concerns, ideas or suggestions about your work environment, please share that information with your immediate supervisor and/or division manager. This will allow us to continue keeping you safe and reducing the spread of germs, while still providing the best service possible to our residents.

Last week, Governor Ron DeSantis issued a statewide Stay-At-Home Executive Order, effective April 3, 2020 through April 30, 2020. This order supersedes all other mandates throughout the state, requiring all Florida counties to comply. As a result, Orange County Government will continue to implement teleworking policies/procedures and using alternative methods to conduct business through the end of the month. Updated information about teleworking, including an updated agreement, can be found on the COVID-19 Employee Resource page .

For guidance on whether or not you are permitted to telework or anything else related to the County’s COVID-19 response, please speak with your immediate supervisor and/or department leadership. We are all doing our best to adapt to these unique circumstances. Keeping open lines of communication with leadership can help reduce confusion, while also ensuring accurate information is being shared.

The Families First Coronavirus Response Act (FFCRA) went into effect on April 1, 2020 and is applicable through December 31, 2020. Employees who qualify can apply for benefits under the Emergency Family and Medical Leave Expansion Act (EFMLEA) and Emergency Paid Sick Leave Act (EPSL) for specified reasons related to COVID-19 by completing the respective request forms.

In closing, I strongly encourage you to continue keeping the emotional and mental health and well-being of you and your family top of mind. As we have already shared, the County offers a vast array of free services to employees, including the resources listed below.

Employees who are on the County’s medical benefits plan also have access to resources through . This includes access to telehealth services through Amwell and MDLive, which are both accessible through apps on your smartphone. You can consult with a health care provider, or meet with a counselor virtually, if you are not feeling well.

Thank you again for your unwavering support and commitment to both our community and organization. Your resilience in the face of this pandemic is inspiring. We could not do this without you.

If you have any questions or concerns, continue to contact your supervisor. We are committed to keeping all staff informed throughout this difficult time. To remain updated as the situation in the County progresses visit .
Jerry L. Demings, Orange County Mayor signature