Mayor Kriseman discusses St. Pete’s reopening plans, recent protests

Pinellas County

ST.PETERSBURG, Fla. (WFLA)—St. Petersburg Mayor Rick Kriseman is discussing the COVID-19 pandemic and the impact Gov. Ron DeSantis recent order has had on local ordinances.

The press conference took place at 11:30 a.m. at Pinellas Ale Works alongside St. Petersburg Police Chief Anthony Holloway, Deputy Mayor Dr. Kanika Tomalin and St. Petersburg Emergency Operations Manager Amber Boulding

The city sent out an e-mail that said “The time has come to Restart St. Pete by resuming a vital part of St. Pete’s character – events and public facilities. Starting Monday, Oct. 5, 2020, the City will accept requests for events on City property and start to reopen City facilities,”.

The city’s issuing a new order amending COVID mitigation plans saying they must be accessible online (if there is an online presence for the business) or a note on the door saying it is available to read at the place of business.

Mayor Kriseman said failure to comply could result in a municipal ordinance violation.

According to the city, event organizers of third-party, co-sponsored, and private events will be
required to comply with guidelines from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and local health authorities.

Starting Oct. 5, they said recreation center room rentals will become available and gymnasiums and fitness centers will resume operations. They said each center will have its own unique opening plan and COVID-19 mitigation procedures that they will have to have laid out in detail for any patrons that want to see it. Contact your local center for guidelines and not that classes for a fee and programming will resume at a later date. Visit StPeteParksRec.org for updates.

Starting, Oct. 5, St. Pete Libraries will reopen with limited hours. Services offered and hours will differ among library locations. Visit SPLibraries.org for details. The following services will be offered:

  •  45-minute browsing and check-out at all locations except West St. Petersburg Community Library
  • 45-minute self-mediated computer time at all locations except West St. Petersburg Community Library
  • Curbside pick-up with online scheduling through splibraries.org at Main, Mirror Lake, and West St. Petersburg Community Libraries
  • Main Library visitors will use the rear (North) entrance while curbside pickup continues at the front (South) entrance
  • Onsite holds pickup at all libraries
  • Book returns at all locations except Childs Park Community Library
  • Online customer assistance, library cards, and more by emailing webmail.library@stpete.org or using AskALibrarian to chat with or email a librarian
  • Virtual programming

On-site programming, meeting rooms, and children’s play areas will resume at a later date. Visit splibraries.org for updates.

Starting Monday, Oct. 5, all other public-facing City facilities will return to normal operating hours. All City guidelines and recommendations for indoor assembly referenced in “The St. Pete Way toolkit” on RestartStPete.com will be followed.

Kriseman also talked about recent protests in the city and across the nation.

He said Tuesday there are 2 things happening at the same time right now with re-energized protests for civil justice after decisions made recently about the Breonna Taylor case and people voicing their opinions for the upcoming elections.

There is a “MAGA Protest” expected to happen downtown St.Pete Saturday, this coming on the heels of last weekends calls for civil justice that turned violent.

Kriseman and St. Petersburg Police Chief Anthony Holloway are both urging protestors to stay peaceful and to stay home if they plan to cause trouble.

Chief Holloway said they plan to make their presence known and will arrest anyone that becomes violent.

“I have not and never will give the police dept. an order to stand down,” Mayor Kriseman continued, “Our police are fully empowered to keep our residents safe and they will continue doing so.”

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