New COVID-19 protocols in place for Alachua County buildings

Published: Aug. 3, 2021 at 7:19 PM EDT
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Leaders in Alachua County updated their COVID-19 protocols amid the surge in the Delta variant.

In county-controlled buildings, people must wear a mask to enter. Staff will be asked to provide proof of vaccination by August 31st or as soon as they become fully vaccinated.

Their demand on getting the vaccine remains voluntary, according to county manager Michele Lieberman, who says “We are aware that a couple counties have instituted mandatory vaccines for their staff. From an operational perspective as well as from an employee perspective, I am not comfortable recommending that.”

Without proof, employees will be considered unvaccinated and must follow protocols such as wearing a mask at all times, including when outdoors. They will have to undergo weekly testing as well.

Lieberman says they will begin this protocol as soon as they fine-tune the details, no later than September 1st.

This was just one portion of the Board of Commissioner’s meeting.

Alachua County Sheriff’s Office presented their budget to county commissioners today.

The jail was a primary topic among commissioners.

Marihelen Wheeler, county commissioner of District 2 and Vice Chair, says “Our inmates should not come back out of the jail in worse shape than what they went in.”

The Alachua County Sheriff’s Office is revisiting their inmate medical services contract with Corizon Health.

The sheriff’s office is making two “budget requests” for medical services. One will be for physical health and the other for mental health.

Alachua County Sheriff Clovis Watson Jr. says that mental health is something he has put emphasis on in the past, reiterating that “It remains as something that’s important to me during my time in the legislature. I pushed for funding for mental health in the state of Florida. We’re number 48th or 49th in the nation as limited funding for mental health so I know the critical issues so we will be working.”

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