Dear Team –
I want to begin by saying how much I value and appreciate you for the work you do in providing the best service possible to the citizens of Orange County. Please also know I care about you and the well-being of your family, friends, and other loved ones.
I am heartbroken to report another of our correctional officers has lost the fight with COVID-19. It is with utmost sadness and deep regret this has happened for a second time to an employee here at the County. Our hearts go out to these correctional officers’ loved ones as they cope with these tragedies. What is even more disturbing is we have other employees who are currently hospitalized and several on ventilators.
The deadly COVID-19 Delta variant continues to spread in our community. The Department of Health in Orange County reports 27 residents have died since August 9. A flood of COVID-19 outbreaks has led to significant increases in the number of cases, hospitalizations, and deaths. These local and nationwide outbreaks, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), are fueled by the Delta variant. The CDC website notes the highest spread of cases and severe outcomes is happening in places with low vaccination rates. That seems to be the reality in Orange County as our local hospitals indicate well over 95% or more of their current COVID-19 patients are unvaccinated.
As you all are aware, on July 28, I issued a mandate which requires all Orange County Government employees to become vaccinated by September 30, 2021, unless approved for an accommodation. I did not make this decision lightly and this decision has not changed.
Please take the time to read the following information regarding my vaccination requirement for all Orange County Government employees.
Information about the COVID-19 Vaccine
With the drastic increase in positive cases throughout our region over the past month, it is imperative we all continue to do what we can to keep ourselves and our loved ones safe. This includes receiving the COVID-19 vaccine. For those employees who feel unsure about the vaccine, below you will find important information and key things to know.
Current COVID-19 Numbers
As of Monday, August 16, the Florida Department of Health is reporting Orange County’s 14-day rolling positivity rate is 20.14 percent. Additional statistics include:
CDC level of community transmission: HIGH
- Eligible residents (12+) who have one vaccine dose: 65.27 percent
- Total positive cases for Orange County residents: 188,724
- Total deaths in Orange County: 1,452
Please know how much I continue to appreciate all you do for our organization and our community, especially during these challenging times.