Several Mayors from around Florida held a Zoom conference Wednesday afternoon to criticize the lack of Florida coronavirus response by Governor Ron DeSantis.
St. Petersburg’s Rick Kriseman was the only participating mayor from the Tampa Bay area.
“As mayors, we all know what we need to do to try and protect the residents of our communities. And it’s just incredibly unfortunate that the positions that the governor has taken thus far have made our jobs very difficult.
“I look back prior to the governor entering the Phase 3 order, and in my city and in our county we were on a rolling two-week average between 2.5 percent and 3.5 percent [postive testing rate]. We were steady at that percentage.
“Then after his order was entered and his order, like so many of the orders that he has drafted, created incredible confusion in our community. Not just with the business community, but with the governments in our county, trying to understand what he was doing and what he wasn’t doing.
“Within two weeks, we’ve seen our numbers substantially go up.”
Kriseman estimated that 50,000 Floridians would die if the state followed the recommendations of one of DeSantis’ advisors by attempting herd immunity before a vaccine is available.
The mayors recommend four things for Florida:
- a statewide mask mandate,
- allowing local governments to enact stricter measures if needed,
- ramping up state testing facilities to their maximum capacity and
- implementing robust contact tracing, including using an app
On Wednesday, for the second day in a row, there was so much demand for coronavirus testing in St. Petersburg that the Tropicana Field testing site closed. According to a press release from Pinellas County, the Trop site reached capacity at 2:30 p.m. Wednesday and closed for the rest of the day. There are other testing sites in the county.
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