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Leon County lifts vaccine, mask mandate for employees following change in state law

Leon County
Posted at 1:49 PM, Dec 06, 2021
and last updated 2021-12-06 13:49:12-05

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (WTXL) — Leon County employees are no longer required to wear a mask or get vaccinated.

In a statement to employees earlier this week, Human Resources Director Candice Wilson informed employees that those changes are effective immediately.

County Administrator Vince Long released a statement saying the county will follow new laws outlined by a special legislative session.

Every single day over the last 21 months of combating the pandemic, Leon County’s emergency response and mitigation efforts have been entirely informed by expert public health guidance and completely consistent with a plain reading of existing law. In July, when Delta cases were surging and vaccinations were plummeting the county instituted an employee vaccination requirement as a condition of employment. These actions were absolutely necessary to take given the volatility, uncertainty and highly infectious nature of this deadly virus, in order to keep our employees safe, protect the public, and ensure our readiness as a frontline response organization.

That said, the legislation passed in special session (HB 1, Section 3) prohibits Leon County from requiring employee vaccinations going forward and we intend to of course follow this new law, which became effective Nov. 18.

With respect to Leon County’s employee vaccination requirement that went into effect on July 28 and for which the Department of Health issued a Notice of Violation, consistent with Board direction, the county will defend its legal authority to have instituted an employee vaccination mandate not inconsistent with existing law at that time.

More information on that lawsuit can be found here.