What Orlando is talking about
Gov. Ron DeSantis doubled down on his stance regarding vaccine mandates on Monday and said that any city or county that requires COVID-19 vaccination of employees will face a $5,000 fine per infraction.
Here we are, confused as ever, only a few days removed from President Joe Biden's announcement of federal vaccine requirements for employers with more than 100 workers where he said that you'd need to either get a COVID-19 vaccine or submit to weekly testing.
At yesterday’s Alachua County news conference, DeSantis said, "We are gonna stand for the men and women who are serving us. We are gonna protect Florida jobs. We are not gonna let people be fired because of a vaccine mandate."
Speaking of mandates, Orange County is one of those places that has a vaccine requirement in place, requiring all employees to be partially vaccinated by Sept. 30 and fully vaccinated by Oct. 31.
Mayor Jerry Demings said yesterday that while he hadn’t yet heard of the governor’s directive, the county would look into it and “consider our legal options." He went on to say: "I'm not going to take actions that will adversely impact the safety of our community. Sometimes, quite frankly, I question whether or not the governor really sees it that way. He may say that he does but I believe that many of the decisions that he makes are purely politically motivated."
Earlier this year, DeSantis signed an executive order that banned so-called vaccine passports or requiring proof of vaccination. The law is set to go into effect on Thursday and would be enforced by the Department of Health.
In other news…
😷 An appeals court sided with Gov. DeSantis last week in the battle over mask mandates in Florida schools. On Friday, the Florida First District Court of Appeal overruled Leon County Circuit Judge John Cooper’s previous determination that the policy was an overreach of the governor’s powers. Meanwhile, the mortality rate for Florida children infected with COVID-19 has almost doubled since late July. (AP News / Business Insider)
⚽️ All Orlando Pride and Orlando City SC players are 100 percent vaccinated. According to a club official, every player on the two rosters has received the COVID-19 vaccine. That said, the club does not currently require fans to show proof of a vaccination record or a negative COVID-19 test, nor does it require mandatory masks at Exploria Stadium on game day. (Orlando Sentinel)
🍊Orlando is the best place in the U.S. to retire according to WalletHub’s latest survey. The City Beautiful ranked No. 1 ahead of Charleston, South Carolina; Scottsdale, Arizona; Tampa, Florida; and Minneapolis, Minnesota. Of the 180 cities judged, we were No. 13 for affordability, No. 9 for an abundance of activities, No. 70 for quality of life, and No. 68 for access to good health care. (Fox 9)
🏡 Looking to buy a home in Central Florida? Well for starters, good luck. 😬 Here’s what the latest numbers from GrowthSpotter (paywall) said: Homebuyers are finding success in places like Lake Nona, ChampionsGate, Sawgrass Bay in Clermont, and Riverbend in Seminole County. (Orlando Sentinel)
🌎 Sierra Club is hosting a virtual chat with Rep. Val Demings to discuss the upcoming infrastructure bill and what it could mean for climate change and specifically, its effects on our area. You’re invited to join the public conversation — just make sure to have your questions ready for Demings' stance on the issue. The event’s scheduled for 7 p.m. tomorrow on Zoom. RSVP at the link. 👉 (Facebook)
📌 Lift Orlando’s Heart of West Lakes Wellness Center is in need of a café operator. Know someone looking for a brick-and-mortar space? A biz in need of community traffic? Reach out to Keeyon Upkins at Keeyon@LiftOrlando.org and see what’s available. And here’s a link to the RFP if you need more information. (Lift Orlando)