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Kriseman, advisors urge public to follow mask guidance as more COVID-19 cases are tallied

Margie Manning



Mayor Rick Kriseman (Photo credit: Facebook)

St. Petersburg Mayor Rick Kriseman and a team of advisors continue to stress the importance of wearing a face covering to slow the spread of COVID-19, as the number of cases in the city and in Pinellas County continues to climb.

In just one week, the number of confirmed COVID-19 cases in Pinellas County has jumped by 25 percent.

There were 1,638 cases in Pinellas County as of Monday morning, compared to 1,313 cases one week ago, on June 1. Between Sunday, June 7 and Monday, June 8, Pinellas County added 54 cases. There have been an average of 32.21 new cases a day over the past 14 days in Pinellas County, according to a dashboard from the Tampa Bay Partnership.

About one-third of the total cases in Pinellas are among staff or residents of long-term care facilities. There have been 95 deaths in Pinellas County due to COVID-19. That’s an increase of 12 since a week ago.

The number of tests also is up, from 9,394 performed during the week ended May 30, to 12,345 tests performed during the week ended June 6. Public health officials have said that as the number of tests increase, so does the likelihood of increased cases. Health officials also watch the “positivity” rate, or percentage of all people tested who test positive; the number increased from 1.32 percent in the week ended May 30 to 2.16 percent in the week ended June 6.

Some physicians have warned against “COVID complacency,” as the state lifts restrictions on business operations that were in place for several weeks in an effort to slow the spread.

In St. Petersburg, there were 698 cases as of Monday morning, compared to 505 cases on June 1. Kriseman spoke with many of the advisors in his Restart St. Pete effort at noon today. They were given a situation report update and the mayor summarized the latest state orders. Kriseman took questions and facilitated a constructive conversation related to the recent data trend, a spokesman for the mayor’s office said.

“Everyone is in agreement that the public, and those working in the hospitality or retail industry or office environments, really need to heed the guidance related to the wearing of masks when near others,” the spokesman said in an email to the St. Pete Catalyst. “The data tells us the average age of those contracting the virus is decreasing, meaning young people really need to take this seriously.”

No action was taken related to the meeting, but the conversations help to inform the mayor’s decision-making going forward, the spokesman said.

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  1. Avatar

    Mary Brophy-Lee

    June 9, 2020at2:22 pm

    Are the St. Pete Logo masks available for purchase? I love them! We must wear masks at work at El Cap as all other hospitality places do. Thanks, Mary Brophy-Lee

    • Avatar

      Sherry Chaudoin

      June 9, 2020at5:18 pm

      I’d like to buy a few of those, too.

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