The Florida Department of Health (FDOH) has responded to the reminder letters sent this week by Leon County Government informing employees that without proof of a COVID vaccination they would be terminated on October 4, 2021.
In response to Leon County’s communication, the letter from FDOH Division Director David Woodlief to County Administrator Vince Long seeks information about those impacted by Leon County’s vaccine mandate policy.
Specifically, FDOH is seeking the names of employees that received the letters and the names of employees who submitted documentation as proof of vaccination.
In addition, the letter states that Leon County must immediately rescind its policy and refrain from terminating any employees who refused to provide proof of vaccination.
The letter from FDOH is below.
The Vaccine Policy
In July, Leon County Administrator Vince Long notified all Leon County government employees that vaccinations against COVID-19 would become a condition of employment with the county, citing a “resurgence” of the virus in the county.
According to the communication, all County employees were required to get vaccinated by October 1.
The employee notification stated:
“Today, as vaccinations stagnate and the delta variant has created a resurgence of the COVID 19 virus with the state of Florida at its epicenter, vaccinations against COVID 19 will now become a condition of employment at Leon County Government for new and existing employees under the supervision of the County Administrator and the County Attorney.”
In September, Governor Ron DeSantis notified Florida cities and counties that require COVID-19 vaccinations as a condition of employment will be fined $ 5,000 per violation.
During a press conference, DeSantis said government agency vaccine mandates violate state law that prohibits private companies from requiring “vaccine passports” for customers.
“We are going to stand up for the men and women who are serving us. We are going to protect Florida’s jobs,” DeSantis said. “We are not going to allow people to be fired because of a vaccine mandate.”
On September 23rd, Judge Monica Brasington of the 8th Judicial Circuit Court issued a temporary injunction against the City of Gainesville’s COVID vaccine mandate.
Brasington said in her ruling that the city did not provide ample evidence showing a vaccine mandate serves “a compelling interest through the least restrictive means.” She also said the city bears the burden of proof to determine that the mandate is in the best interest of the public.
Following the decision, The City of Gainesville rescinded the policy that required employees to receive the COVID-19 vaccination.