ORLANDO, Fla. — The Orange County Tax Collector’s Office is the latest employer to mandate COVID-19 vaccination amid a huge surge in coronavirus infections across the country.

What You Need To Know

  • Orange County Tax Collector mandates COVID-19 vaccination for its employees

  • The office says about 45 percent of its workforce of 316 are fully vaccinated right now

  • The move comes amid a steep spike in COVID-19 infections county- and nationwide

  • Workers who seek an exemption must present negative tests weekly and wear a mask

Leaders at the office said late Monday that current and new employees will have through August to get fully vaccinated or face possible termination.

To help employees who want to get vaccinated meet their new job requirement, the office is partnering with the Orange County mobile vaccination unit to offer shots to employees and the public.

With the spread of the highly-contagious delta variant of the coronavirus, the county is recording about a thousand new cases each day.

Right now, the Tax Collector’s Office said about 45 percent of its workforce of 316 employees is fully vaccinated. But as of Aug. 31, workers will have to be fully vaccinated if they want to remain employed there.

Leaders said their six agencies see more than 20,000 people weekly, and they want to make sure they’re protecting everyone that comes through their doors from getting sick. 

"We are one of the busiest government offices in the state of Florida, and we want to make sure that our staff is protected from each other and the general public. We also want to make sure that the public is protected," said Eddie Ayala, a spokesman for Orange County Tax Collector Scott Randolph. "When someone comes into our office to get their driver’s license or to renew their registration, they should be able to feel safe."

Exceptions will be made for those with sincere religious beliefs or with valid medical conditions. Those employees will have to wear masks and present negative coronavirus tests weekly.