Florida Fines County More Than $3 Million Over Vaccine Mandate

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Gov.’s Ron DeSantis signed legislation in May making mandates illegal

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Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis signed legislation banning vaccine passports in the state in May, saying lawmakers were protecting residents’ personal choices. There is a $5,000 fine for each violation. The state health department said Lyon County has violated the vaccine passport ban 714 times.

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“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,” said Mr. DeSantis, a Republican.

Leon County pushed back against the state health department, calling the governor’s position “less than a public health strategy and more about political strategy.”

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“The County strongly argues that our employee vaccination requirement was not only completely legally justified, but a necessary and necessary measure to keep our employees safe, protect the public, and ensure our preparedness as a frontline response organization. There was responsible action,” Lyon County Administrator Vincent Long said Tuesday.

Florida was reporting more new Covid-19 cases than any other US state at the end of July, according to data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, and some areas had the fastest rate of hospitalizations since the start of the pandemic. were growing.

Florida, like many states, has recently seen a decline in the number of newly reported COVID-19 cases after a summer surge. For the first week in October, the state reported 25,792 new cases among residents and said it had a positivity rate of 4.8%, According to the state health department.

Mr Long said that Lyon County “intends to enforce its rights by using any remedy available to settle all arguments regarding the applicability of the statute to this issue.”

The Florida Board of Education last week authorized restrictions against eight school districts that required masks. The state health department said last month that whether or not children are required to wear masks to school is up to their parents.

Write to Allison Prang at [email protected]

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