Due to coronavirus concerns, many beaches throughout Florida were closed on the fourth weekend of July. However, St. Petersburg residents have access to beaches within driving distance of their county.
Mayor Rick Chrisman said he thinks this is a policy the county should consider.
“I think it’s a policy [the county officials] We have to consider the 4th of July weekend. We knew it was always a busy time on our beaches that weekend. “
Chrisman criticized the Florida government’s Ron DeSantis for not enforcing statewide policies at this time to deal with the rise of cases, but instead left it to local governments to take action on many issues, such as beach closures and masks.
“It should be a statewide policy, but we do not currently have leadership from the administration and the governor’s office,” he said. “If we’re going to get a handle on this, we need to act collectively, not just slice-meals, where individual local governments are implementing policies.”
In further criticism, Chrisman said that DeSantis was “inaccessible” to Florida-based mayors, a barrier to statewide action on the virus.
“This is one of the frustrations of me and other mayors around the state. The governor doesn’t have access to all of us, so we don’t have those conversations. I’m sure it would work best when it is a statewide policy, and if we don’t have a countywide policy, and we don’t have individual cities,” “But it really has to come down from the state.”
Chrisman dismissed Desantis’ claims that the increase in cases was partly due to backlog in tests.
“That explanation is really pretty silly. What we are seeing is the percentage of positive tests. So we have 1,500 test days. The other day we get 3,500 tests, but what’s really important is how positive those percentages are coming back,” he explained.
St. Petersburg, Florida is seeing 1.5% to 2% positive cases on a two-week rolling basis in late April and early May. He said the rolling average has risen 10% in the last two weeks.
“This is very vague, and not a number of clarification tests.