Dear Team,
 
It is hard to believe, but summer break is ending just as quickly as it started. Many of you are gearing up for the start of the school year in the coming weeks. For those of you with children, I wish you a safe and secure school year as you work with your child’s teachers to navigate the challenges presented by this pandemic. We truly appreciate the patience, perseverance and adaptability of you and your family.
 
Sales Tax Holiday
Additionally, the 2020 Back-to-School Sales Tax Holiday begins today and goes through Sunday, August 9, 2020. During this period, qualifying items will be exempt from tax, including certain school supplies selling for $15 or less per item; clothing, footwear, and certain accessories selling for $60 or less per item; and the first $1,000 of the sales price of personal computers and certain computer-related accessories purchased for noncommercial home or personal use. Whether you are sending your children to school in person or virtually, this is the perfect time to stock up on the supplies you’ll need for the school year.
 
COVID-19 Symptom Checker
If you are on the County’s Cigna medical plan, I encourage you to take advantage of the tools and resources they offer to help you access the care you need when you need it. Use the Cigna Symptom Checker on myCigna.com to determine if you are at risk for COVID-19. If you are experiencing symptoms, this checker can guide you to the next best steps for care.
 
Cigna Waives Costs for COVID-19 visits
Cigna is waiving out-of-pocket costs for COVID-19 visits, whether you go to a primary care provider (PCP), urgent care center, local health department, or use virtual care. While a diagnosis of COVID-19 cannot be confirmed through virtual medical care, it is still a convenient and safe way to get the medical attention you may need without leaving home. Contact your PCP, or connect with a virtual care provider on myCigna.com.  
 
Testing
A healthy and safe work environment remains a top priority for this organization and testing is key in helping keep our workplace safe. Orange County Health Services will continue to offer free testing from Tuesday, August 11, through Friday, August 14, at the Econ Soccer Complex. The site will be open from 8 a.m. to 1 p.m. You can make an online appointment directly at ocfl.net/EconSoccer. Orange County employees are also welcome to stop by the site without an appointment. Visit www.ocfl.net/coronavirus for more information about testing in our community.
 
You can also access COVID-19 testing at home. Self-initiated at-home specimen collection kits that are FDA-approved (such as the Pixel by LabCorp testing kit) will be offered at no cost to those on the Cigna medical plan. If you have any questions about covered at-home testing, contact Cigna at 1-800-244-6224.

United Way Workplace Giving Campaign
Next Friday, August 14, is the deadline to submit your United Way Workplace Giving Campaign Pledge Card. Last year, United Way had a vital impact on the lives of nearly 500,000 Central Florida residents, many of which are ALICE – Asset Limited, Income Constrained, Employed. This year, the need for your support is even greater due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Our ALICE residents were already one unexpected emergency away from financial ruin. COVID-19 has become that emergency for many families. You can now submit your pledge card online. To log in for the first time, use OrangeCounty1 for the User ID and 32801 for the password. For questions or assistance, contact uwesc@ocfl.net.

Recognizing Employees
Last week, I was honored to join the Board of County Commissioners in recognizing employees for their dedicated service to the County in another Curbside Employee Service Award ceremony. My favorite part about these events is learning about the amazing things employees do each day to help make Orange County a great place to live. For example, Kamla Ramdass is currently working with the Health Services Medical Clinic team to help with challenges faced by the COVID-19 pandemic and Amador Rodriguez is a Mosquito Control Operations Supervisor playing a vital role in the prevention of mosquito-borne illnesses. I am grateful to be a part of such a talented and dedicated team.

I hope you know how much your service is appreciated, not only during this difficult time, but at all times. Thank you for everything you do.

Jerry L. Demings, Orange County Mayor signature