St. Petersburg mayor says mask order having a positive impact

Coronavirus

ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. (WFLA) – St. Petersburg Mayor Rick Kriseman says the rate of people testing positive for COVID-19 is declining in the city and he believes a mandatory mask order may be the reason.

“We put the mask mandate in place somewhere around the 23ed of June and we really thought we would see date come in this weekend or this week that would be reflective of the mask mandate. Our hope was that we would start seeing the percentage of positive go down because people were wearing the mask more. Certainly the last couple of days, that’s what we’ve seen ” said Kriseman.

Mayor Kriseman says it’s too early to know if the mask order and decline is directly related, but he is happy that most people are complying with the order.

“I think people have been much better in the last week or two than certainly when we first put the order in place,” said Kriseman.

Sue Hogrefe and her twin sister, Barbara Jagdmann are visiting St. Petersburg on a “staycation” from North Port and were happy to see people in St. Petersburg wearing masks.

“Actually, we’ve been quite pleased, we are visiting and doing a staycation and we think it’s great that most of the establishments are requesting masks and we are abiding and I think it should be like that everywhere,” said Hogrefe.

The Pinellas County Department of Health is also seeing a downward trend in the positivity rate for COVID-19, but a spokesperson says it’s too early to know the reason.

Dawn Wilkes says she wears a mask out of respect for those around her, but she believes it should not be a mandatory order.

“I think everybody should have a choice. I wear it to make people feel safe, and in areas where I’m supposed to wear it to abide by the laws of the land, but when I don’t have to wear it, I don’t,” said Wilkes.

Kriseman says, if people continue to wear masks in public, he believes the situation will continue to improve.

“If you care about humanity, you care about your fellow citizen, it’s not a lot to ask to have you put that on when you are indoors,” said Kriseman.

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