Dear Team,

Thank you for all you do to safely provide excellent service to our customers, residents and visitors. I am very proud of you and have good news! Our 14-day rolling positivity rate is now 7.3 percent. It continues to go in the right direction! As a reminder, we will continue to offer free testing seven days a week at Barnett Park through February 28 and you can receive testing on County time with supervisor approval.

Vaccine Update  
I continue to be awed by the response from our community for the COVID-19 vaccine. More than 75,000 vaccinations have been administered at the Convention Center.  41 percent of Orange County residents ages 65 and older have received at least one COVID-19 vaccine shot. The Department of Health in Orange County’s portal will reopen for vaccine appointments soon. I urge you to sign up for alerts, so you don’t miss the next chance for a vaccine at ocfl.net/vaccine. There is still a lot of misinformation floating around about COVID-19 and we want to make sure everyone know what fact and what is fiction concerning the vaccine. For example, one of the myths about the COVID-19 vaccine is that you don’t have to wear a mask once you get the shot. That is false. You can read about the facts versus the myths at ocfl.net/VaccineMyths
 
Wellness and Health Coaches
I am also impressed by how proactive our employees and their spouses have been with engaging and improving their health over the past year. Nearly 75% of employees/spouses on our medical benefits plan through Cigna earned at least 70 myOCWellness points, earning the wellness credit effective Jan. of this year. Our onsite health coaches have served as a great resource in guiding employees and their families on their health and wellness journey. I encourage you to take advantage of this free resource by scheduling an appointment and participating in their monthly webinars. The topic for March is healthy eating. Additionally, you can earn up to 40 myOCWellness points by meeting with one of our health coaches.
 
Planning for the Future
Vanguard is now offering educational webinars every month to help you ensure you’re ready for the future. Their topics cover everything from financial freedom and volatile markets to investments. The topic for next month is college savings and will be held on March 5 and 8. The Florida Retirement System (FRS) is also offering a variety of FREE monthly webinars to help you in planning for your future. Check out their upcoming dates and topics!
 
United Way
This past year has been tough on all of us as we continue to overcome challenges brought on by COVID-19. It is because of organizations like the Heart of Florida United Way that we were able to pull our resources together and help those in our community who needed it most. That is why Orange County Government continues to partner with United Way year after year. We do more than just provide financial assistance. We build community through foundational partnerships to not only stand together in times of need, but to put plans in place to lessen the effects of those times of need.
 
Last year, despite the ongoing pandemic, County employees went above and beyond once again, raising $638,902 for the United Way Workplace Giving campaign. Our top departments were:
 
  1. Utilities - $108,354
  2. County Administration - $99,974
  3. Sheriff’s Office - $84,575
  4. Community & Family Services - $63,764
  5. Corrections - $52,712
 
We are so fortunate to have employees who are not only committed to public service through their role with the County, but also strive to help those in need. Thank you for your kindness and caring.
 
His Legacy: Your Dreams Today Lunch and Learn
Please join me for a FREE Lunch and Learn event today, February 18, from noon to 1 p.m., where Mr. Doug Williams will discuss how Dr. King influenced his life and career. Williams is a former NFL player and Senior Advisor to the Team President of the Washington football team. The event will conclude with a question and answer session moderated by MLK Initiative co-chairs Monica May and Lisa Bachman. If you would like to participate in the question and answer session, please register for the event here bit.ly/3tJMX8R or watch at ocfl.net/HisLegacyYourDreams.
 
Keep up the good work. I appreciate you.
Jerry L. Demings, Orange County Mayor signature