ST. PETERSBURG (CW44 News At 10) – Following spiking COVID-19 positive cases for Tampa Bay, effective yesterday at 5pm, St. Petersburg Mayor Rick Kriseman issued a mandatory face mask order, regardless of any contradictory orders from the Pinellas County Board of Commissioners. Florida Governor Ron DeSantis the same day echoed his sentiment, vowing to crack down on bars and restaurants in non-compliance of his executive order meant to keep patrons safe.

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This order affects all members of the public which will be required to wear a mask or cloth-based covering when entering a business. The announcement comes a week after Mr. Kriseman issued an executive order compelling all businesses in St. Pete require employees to wear face masks. 

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Mayor Kriseman added, “We ask that all business owners treat this as they would if someone is entering their establishment with no shoes, no shirt on.” If this leads to confrontations, he asks to avoid arguments and simply contact St. Pete Police Department’s non-emergency line

At the time of the announcement, St. Pete had more than 2,000 positive COVID-19 cases with no signs of slowing without intervention. Kriseman continued, “Wearing a mask and social distancing are really the last tools we have right now to flatten the curve without having to shut down our entire economy.” His dire plea was echoed with a simple Twitter post, “Masks are more comfortable than ventilators.”

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