Photo: CHANDAN KHANNA / AFP / Getty Images
A county of Florida has been fined more than $ 3.5 million for requiring county employees to be vaccinated against COVID-19.
The state Department of Health issued a statement Tuesday, saying the Leon County violated the passport ban of vaccines status 714 times, according CBS News.
The state sent a violation notice to the administrator of the Leon County, Vincent Long, on October 6, stating that the requirement of vaccines county for employees violates a state law that Florida Governor Ron DeSantisannounced in September. According to the law, Government agencies that force a vaccine as a condition of employment can be fined $ 5,000 for each instance of doing so..
DeSantis he had said the law was issued in an effort to “defend freedom.”
The Leon County first required all employees to be fully vaccinated against COVID-19 the 28th of July, depending on the state. Employees were required to provide verification of the vaccine to the government human resources department no later than October 1. The state said 700 county government employees provided such documentation, and that within days, 14 employees were fired for their refusal or failure to do so. so.
The county said Oct. 2 that 30 employees received a medical or religious exemption from the vaccine, and that in total, less than 2% of the employees did not prove that they were vaccinated.
The 714 violations, the state government said, accumulated a fine of more than $ 3.5 million that the county must pay within 30 days.
“It is unacceptable that Leon County violated Florida law, violated the medical privacy of current and former employees, and fired loyal public servants because of their personal health decisions,” he said. DeSantis on a statement. “We will continue to fight for the rights of Floridians and the Florida Department of Health will continue to enforce the law. We are going to defend Floridians ‘jobs, defend Floridians’ livelihoods, and defend freedom. ”
According state data, 60% of the residents of the Leon County 12 years or older have been vaccinated against COVID-19. From October 1 to October 7, the county had 354 cases. As the number of people vaccinated in the state continues to rise, weekly COVID case count has decreased.
Joseph Ladap, the state’s new surgeon general, said in a statement that firing people for the vaccines Covid-19 “It has real and lasting consequences.”
“It leads to resentment in the workplace and job loss affects individual and public health,” Ladap said in a statement. “People have every right to choose the best way to protect themselves and their families.”
County Manager Vincent Long, however, said in a statement Tuesday what county actions were necessary and developed with input from an expert public health guide.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and numerous health officials have urged the public to get vaccinated against the COVID-19 to slow the spread.
In the workplace, CDC they have recommended the vaccine, while saying that companies can adhere to medical and religious exemptions. More than 187.7 million people have been vaccinated as of Tuesday, according to CDC, and more than 8.5 million have already received a booster dose.