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Some Leon Co. Constitutional Officers mandate vaccines, others choose not to

Published: Aug. 4, 2021 at 6:26 PM EDT
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TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (WCTV) - In the wake of Leon County’s vaccine mandate for employees, WCTV checked in with Constitutional Officers, who were not included under the requirement.

Each office has a different policy of requirements, incentives, or no mandate at all.

The Leon County Tax Collectors Office is requiring vaccines for employees.

“It really is for their safety, and the safety of the public, and the safety of the coworkers,” said Tax Collector Doris Maloy. “We continue to get cases. And it impacts the operations. Persons, coworkers are leery. They are concerned, as anybody would be.”

Maloy says she’s not sure how many of her 94 employees are unvaccinated, but she says it’s a “significant number.”

The deadline to get the shot is the same as the County mandate, Oct. 1. However, Maloy is is also offering an exemption form and she says that deadline will be later in September.

“It’s going to be ADA or a medical diagnosed, or sincerely religious belief. So if persons qualify — I loosely use that word, qualify — but if they choose to use an exemption, they will be required to get tested,” said Maloy.

Employees are required to mask up at all times in her office. The Tax Collector’s Office will also be keeping its new appointment-only system, but Maloy added if there is an emergency, you can come in without one.

The Leon County Supervisor of Elections, Mark Earley, will not be mandating vaccines.

He says about 90-95 percent of his 20 employees are vaccinated.

“I applaud the County for what they’re doing, but I don’t think we need to take that step because we’re essentially already there,” said Earley.

Earley credits the numbers to the need for his office to remain fully staffed at the height of the pandemic.

“I think that really impressed upon all of my employees within the Elections Office for the need for vaccinations,” he said.

Masks are also required in the Supervisor of Elections Office. The Leon County Sheriff’s Office has returned to COVID-19 protocols, including telecommuting, and masks required when possible for deputies.

At the Leon County Sheriff’s Office, Sheriff Walt McNeil is not mandating vaccines, instead incentivizing them.

“We’ve basically said that you can have 2 days off if you go and get the vaccine,” said McNeil.

He adds those days off will be applied retroactively to employees who have already received the vaccine.

According to McNeil, about 30 percent of his 700 employees are vaccinated.

“Those numbers change every day, hopefully going up with more people getting the vaccine, but obviously we hope that all of our employees get the vaccine,” said McNeil.

Leon County Clerk of Courts Gwen Marshall says she is not requiring vaccinations for her employees, but she added that her office is “monitoring the situation.”

Marshall says masks for employees are required inside of their offices. While masks are not required inside the entire Leon County Courthouse, because it’s under the jurisdiction of the County Commission, an administrative order from the Florida Supreme Court requires masks for members of the public inside individual courtrooms.

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