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Florida fined the county 3.5 3.5 million for making the vaccine mandatory.

TALHASHI, Florida (AP) – A county government in the Florida capital was fined Tuesday by state health officials for administering the COVID-19 vaccine to its employees and firing 14 workers who failed to take shots.

The Florida Department of Health issued a fine. Leon CountyThe municipality has violated Florida’s “Vaccine Passport” law, which prohibits businesses and governments from showing evidence of COVID-19 vaccination to the public.

“These are the people who have probably been serving all this time and now all of a sudden they’re basically overcoming it,” Florida Gov. Ron de Santis told a news conference in St. Petersburg Beach.

Later, the governor tweeted, “No one should lose their job because of the cowardly shots.”

The law, which went into effect last month, carries a 5,000 fine. It is being challenged in court and contradicts the Biden administration’s order that companies with more than 100 employees require their workers to be vaccinated or subjected to weekly tests.

In a statement, Leon County Administrator Vincent Long said he was informed of the fine through media reports.

“There is a real disagreement about the application of the law and the rule, and the county will enforce its rights using any treatment available in law if necessary,” Long said.

The decision to fine Leon County comes a day after the Orlando Sentinel report found that the state had filed a lawsuit against dozens of local governments, the Performing Arts Center, the Miami Marlins, the law enforcement anti-terrorism unit and singer Harry Styles. Investigating the concert.

About 120 cases of violations are being investigated, according to Orlando Sentinel’s Public Records request.

In Central Florida, the list includes the Orange County Government. Orange County Convention Center AdventHealth, one of the state’s largest healthcare systems; A number of performing arts venues and the Amway Center, home to the Orlando Magic and recently hosted a concert by Styles during which the audience was ordered to be vaccinated or given a negative COVID. Take 19 tests.

Orange County Mayor Jerry Demings told the newspaper, “At the moment, the courts have not reached a final decision, but the indication is that Florida law is flying in the face of our Florida Constitution and perhaps common sense.”

In South Florida, the people being investigated by the Florida Department of Health include Marilyn, the only major sports team on the list. Miramar City Plantation Police Department and many places of performing arts

In this list, around the state, is the Florida Law Enforcement Unit in Jacksonville. Gasparilla Music Festival in Tampa and Guinness Mayor Lorraine Poe. Many cruise companies have compiled the list despite a federal court order barring the enforcement of the law against Norwegian cruise lines.

During his news conference Tuesday, De Santis said his administration has worked with authorities in Orange County and Gainesville to avoid shootings, which have also enforced vaccine requirements for employees.

The Broward Center for the Performing Arts in Fort Lauderdale asks customers to provide documents for the recent negative COVID-19 test, instead with the option to submit proof that they have been fully vaccinated. Kelly Shanley, president and CEO of the Broward Center, said the policy was in line with comments from de Santas spokeswoman Christina Posha.

In an August 27 interview with the Florida Times-Union, Pasha said the law “prohibits businesses from asking consumers for proof of vaccination only as a condition of entry or service.”

“If concert-going vaccines can pass a negative COVID test instead of a passport, it is legal,” he said. “People who want to show proof of vaccination instead of COVID tests are free to do so. It cannot be forced.”

On Monday, Sentinel asked if agencies or businesses that allow testing options other than the vaccine requirement are in accordance with the law, Pasha said the law states that “mandatory vaccine passports are prohibited, but other COVID protocols.” Not necessarily forbidden. ”

“The investigation is not looking for violations,” Pashu said.

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