SARASOTA (CBSMiami/AP) — Employees of the Sarasota County Sheriff’s Office who knowing came to work after testing positive for COVID-19, or after experiencing symptoms, won’t face any disciplinary action.

On Aug. 3, Sarasota Sheriff’s Office Maj. Jon Goetluck sent an email asking employees to stay home if they felt ill. The email included a list of COVID precautions to employees about handwashing and staying home when ill.

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On Aug. 12, he resent that email “because we are still having employees coming into work with symptoms and exposing other employees and then testing positive 2-3 days later.”

He sent a third email Aug. 18 after cases continued to increase.

“It appears that we still have personnel coming to work sick, to include some that have tested positive,” Goetluck’s email said. “I wasn’t going to publicize our numbers to avoid unnecessary panic, but I find it necessary to do so.”

On Tuesday, the agency reported 93 employees were out sick, and that 57 had tested positive for COVID-19, according to the newspaper.

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But those who came to work after testing positive or while feeling ill won’t face any repercussions, according to sheriff’s spokeswoman Kaitlyn Pere.

The highly contagious delta variant has led to an acceleration in cases around Florida and record high hospitalizations. By mid-August more than 21,000 new cases were being added per day, compared with about 8,500 a month earlier. The state said 16,820 people were hospitalized on Tuesday, down from a record of more than 17,000 last week.

Perez said the agency is not implementing any additional measures such as mandatory masks. She said the same safety protocols already in place before are still strongly encouraged.

The agency does not keep track of vaccinations, nor does it require employees to be vaccinated, according to Perez.

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CBSMiami.com Team