A county mayor who has been a vocal critic of Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis' recent handling of the latest wave of the coronavirus has COVID-19.
Orange County Mayor Jerry Demings was experiencing mild symptoms and would be working from home this week, according to a statement put out by his office Wednesday.
The statement said he was fully vaccinated and boosted and had received the positive test Tuesday evening.
“He will follow CDC protocols for returning to the office when it is safe to do so," the statement said.
Last month, Demings criticized DeSantis for being missing in action during the holiday season as the omicron variant surged in Florida. The mayor of the county in Orlando that is a theme park mecca also said new restrictions placed by DeSantis and the Florida Legislature on actions that can be taken by local governments and private businesses to combat the virus had made fighting the pandemic more difficult.
A new law signed by DeSantis last month prevents businesses from having vaccine mandates unless they allow workers to opt out. It also bans schools and governments from having vaccine mandates and allows parents to sue schools if they have mask requirements.
DeSantis defended himself in the face of the criticism by saying he had been with his wife who is undergoing cancer treatment. The governor also said he had been working during that time.
Demings’ wife, U.S. Rep. Val Demings, is running against incumbent Republican Marco Rubio for a U.S. Senate seat.