Orange County Mayor Jerry Demings — one of the state’s most aggressive proponents of COVID-19 testing and precautions — has tested positive for the disease, his office announced Wednesday.
Demings is fully vaccinated and boosted and is experiencing mild symptoms, according to a spokesperson. He received confirmation of the positive test Tuesday evening.
His wife, U.S. Rep. Val Demings, has tested negative and issued a statement saying she is grateful. The Democrat, who is a candidate for the U.S. Senate, is in Washington.
“Will continue to test (as I always do) on a regular basis,” Rep. Demings said in a text. “As always we would also encourage all Floridians to sign up for the free tests now available through the USPS, and to get vaccinated.”
Mayor Demings will be working from home this week, his office said.
“The Mayor will continue to work on county business and participate in meetings from his home. Presently, he is attending the GOAA (Greater Orlando Aviation Authority) board meeting by conference call,” a statement issued by his office Wednesday morning said. “He will follow (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention) protocols for returning to the office when it is safe to do so.”
Throughout the pandemic, Mayor Demings has been a strong advocate for vaccinations, mask policies, social distancing and other preventative measures. He has held more than 100 weekly — and sometimes twice-weekly — press conferences updating the community and advocating for aggressive precautions. His style often has conflicted with that of Gov. Ron DeSantis.