TAMPA, Fla. (WFLA) — During what could have been the last emergency policy group meeting in Hillsborough County, the eight-member panel dealt with what they have since March, when the pandemic hit: Graphs, stats, opinions and county residents who called in to give them an earful.
“I don’t know what there is to discuss honestly when it comes to whether or not to renew this executive order. The executive order should not be renewed,” one resident, Jason Kimball, said about the county’s mask mandate.
The controversial order was again re-upped in a 5-to-3 vote and will remain in effect for at least another week.
The Hillsborough County Commission will decide on Wednesday whether to take over the responsibilities of the EPG, which was started decades ago to deal with hurricanes.
During Monday’s meeting, the group went over statistics presented by health leaders.
A Department of Health-Hillsborough County graph shows a decrease in positive cases recently, specifically over the last few days.
“We are seeing a downward and flattening trend, especially on the far right-hand side, especially in the last 10 days when the cases were in the 400 and 500 range and some even down in the 300 range,” said Kevin Wagner, a business analyst for Hillsborough County.
The EPG also learned that there have been around 30,500 positive cases in the county and 12,713 people have recovered to date, data shows.
But this issue and others may soon be dealt with by local leaders and not the EPG if county commissioners decide to abolish the group on Wednesday.
“It has been quite an endeavor, very educational experience for, I think of all of us,” said Melissa Snively, a school board member who also serves on the EPG.
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