Coronavirus concerns: Tampa Bay mayors worried about being ‘canary in coal mine’ of reopening


TAMPA, Fla. (WFLA) – St. Petersburg Mayor Rick Kriseman joined Tampa Mayor Jane Castor for her daily virtual coronavirus update on Monday.

The mayors spoke about what measures they are taking and what is going on in their respective cities, including the One Tampa Fund reaching the maximum amount of applicants, to St. Petersburg’s Fighting Chance Fund.


  • Florida is reporting 85,926 cases and 3,061 deaths
  • Florida in Phase Two of reopening
  • Cases have spiked in past week, Gov. DeSantis says due to increased testing

The mayors also discussed plans to reopen the cities, as Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis moves forward with a task force in charge of reopening the state.

“I would rather us take a little longer. We’re going to hurt a little bit more in the short term, but in the long term, we’re going to be better off. And it’s hard to get people that are living with this to understand that, but I think that’s what I’m hoping for,” Mayor Kriseman said.

Both mayors spoke often about the state level.

Mayor Castor said she hopes state leaders listen to the science – meaning numbers, population and confirmed cases – in different regions of the state.

“Because if we go out too quickly and we end up further back than where we started, I mean can you imagine what that will do? We think we’ve been knocked to our knees now,” she said. “I just hope and pray that we’re not going to be used as the canary in the coal mine here.”

Both mayors have not spoken to Gov. DeSantis during the pandemic, they confirmed on the live stream.

“My big concern, or fear, if you would, whatever our governor decides to do, that we aren’t preempted as local governments from taking action that might be different, for example, than say, in the Panhandle. Because our numbers are different, what’s happening in our communities is different,” Mayor Kriseman said.

Mayor Castor said the science in our communities can be different than the science elsewhere.

“Even if you go down to cities, the City of Tampa has twice the density of the county…It all boils down to, there is no one size fits all.”


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