Kriseman among Florida mayors urging DeSantis to change COVID-19 approach

Coronavirus

ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. (WFLA) – St. Petersburg Mayor Rick Kriseman was one of five mayors who met Wednesday to urge Gov. Ron DeSantis to change his approach to COVID-19.

The meeting took place virtually and featured Kriseman, City of Miami Beach Mayor Dan Gelber, City of Sunrise Mayor Michael J. Ryan, Miami Shores Village Mayor Crystal Wagar and City of Hialeah Mayor Carlos Hernandez.

The mayors discussed the “alarming” rise of coronavirus cases in the state and made their recommendations for DeSantis to consider.

In Pinellas County, the Department of Health reported the percent positivity rate has doubled since September, jumping from 3% to 6%. It has Mayor Kriseman worried.

“We are concerned. The numbers are moving in the wrong direction,” he said. “While reports we get as far as hospitalizations aren’t at a point where our hospitals are being stretched thin, if our numbers continue to climb, I don’t think that situation isn’t going to remain.”

The mayor said this is in issue that affects everyone.

“We’ve got to have a state that follows the same rules and puts in place, the same rules as other state around the country. This is not a partisan issue. This is not Republican, Democrat, red, blue,” he said.

Gelber, mayor of Miami Beach, weighed in.

“You can’t wait for this crisis to hit you in the head, over and over again, like a brick,” he said.

8 On Your Side spoke to residents of St. Petersburg, who said they wouldn’t mind a statewide mandate.

“I do think that they help. Science has proven they have prevented the virus spread,” Brittan Ackerman said about masks and face coverings.

The mayors also suggested more statewide testing and contact tracing.

Watch a snippet of the meeting in the video player above.

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