Florida county sheriff's office decimated by COVID-19 as nearly 10 percent of employees now out sick
Florida Governor Ron DeSantis

Could the novel coronavirus succeed in essentially defunding the police?

According to local news station WFLA, the Sarasota County Sheriff's Office is being decimated by COVID-19 and currently has 94 employees out sick, roughly two-thirds of which have tested positive for the virus.

In total, the office estimates that it's missing around 10 percent of its total workforce.

Sheriff's office spokesperson Kaitlyn Perez tells WFLA that the department is using an "all-hands-on-deck" approach to the crisis by pulling healthy people from different departments and staffing them where they're needed.

"Right now, we have a good amount of deputies who work in corrections who are out either due to an exposure, symptoms, or a positive test," she said. "Luckily, our workforce over in the courthouse has been helping to supplement our staffing shortages in the facility."

Perez also insisted there was no need for people in Sarasota County to panic despite the major staff shortages.

"We are still going to make sure that we are out there answering calls whether that means relying on our partners through MOUs and having other people come to the community to help us," she explained.

Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis has taken criticism for refusing to do anything that could slow the spread of the virus in his state, as he has refused to implement vaccine mandates for state employees while at the same time tried to bar schools from implementing mask mandates for teachers and students.