Several beaches across Florida are closed for the weekend of July 4 due to concerns for coronas. However, this is not yet the case for St. Petersburg residents who have access to beaches within walking distance of their county.
Mayor Rick Kriseman says he believes it is a policy the county should consider.
“It simply came to our notice then [the county officials] we have to take that into account as we arrive on the weekend of July 4th. We know that he is always busy on our beaches that weekend.
Kriseman also criticized Florida Gov. Ron Desanti for failing to implement policies across the state at the moment to combat the increase, and instead called on local governments to take action on certain issues, such as closing beaches and the mask.
“This should be a policy across the country, but we do not currently have the leadership from the administration and the governor’s office,” he said. “If we are going to handle it, we need to act collectively, not just at lunch, where individual local governments are pursuing policies.”
In further criticism, Kriseman said DeSantis was “very inaccessible” to mayors across Florida, which is an obstacle to action against the virus across the country.
“This is one of the disappointments I and other mayors across the state have had. The governor was very inaccessible to all of us, so we did not have these talks. I was definitely very vocal about the fact that I think it works best when it’s state-run politics and if we can’t do that then the whole country and if we can’t have it then individual cities, “he said. “But it really has to come down from the state.”
Kriseman also rejected DeSantis’ allegations that the increase was due in part to delayed testing.
“It simply came to our notice then. What we are looking at is the percentage of positive tests. So we had days where we might have 1,500 completed tests. Other days where we will have 3,500 tests that have been done, but what really matters is what are the percentages of these tests that are done that come back positive, “he explained.
St. Petersburg, Florida saw a positive rate of 1.5% to 2% on a two-week basis in late April and early May. In the last two weeks, the rolling average has risen to 10%, he said.
“This is very worrying and the explanation is not the number of tests. It’s that more people are exposed now. “