Kriseman Urges Compliance With St. Petersburg Mask Ordinance As Pier Opening Nears - WUSF Public Media | Tampa NPR, Local News Coverage

Kriseman Urges Compliance With St. Petersburg Mask Ordinance As Pier Opening Nears

St. Petersburg Mayor Rick Kriseman said officials have visited more than 1,000 businesses since last week and issued dozens of violations to businesses that have not required their employees to wear masks. City of St. Petersburg / Facebook

St. Petersburg Mayor Rick Kriseman is once again asking people to comply with the city’s mask ordinance.

During a Facebook Live video Tuesday, Kriseman said officials have visited more than a thousand businesses since last week and issued dozens of violations to businesses that have not required their employees to wear masks.

The mayor also called on citizens to report those who do not abide by the city’s mask ordinance.

“If you keep notifying us,” he said, “we’ll send the police out to issue citations to those who refuse to put their masks on when going into a business or other indoor place open to the public.”Listen to an audio version of this story

During the question-and-answer portion, Kriseman was asked where he stood on testing. The mayor stressed that the county and state are in control of the testing.

Kriseman said the recently opened site at Tropicana Field is handling a lot of testing, but he is working with county and state governments to add more testing locations.

He also said identifying people who test positive makes containment of the coronavirus easier, but results need to be returned more quickly.

“If it’s taking 5 to 7 days, it makes it really difficult for us to have a really good contact tracing system in place,” Kriseman said. “We really need those rapid tests and those results within 24 to 48 hours for us to have effective contact tracing.”

The mayor also said mask-wearing and social distancing are the best tools to prevent a citywide shutdown due to coronavirus, especially in light of the new St. Pete Pier District opening next Monday evening.

Kriseman said there will be a reservations-only ticketing system for Pier attendees.

“While much of the Pier is an extension of our waterfront park system, and we encourage people to be outside, we still want to ensure the pier is not overwhelmed in its early days,” he said.

Masks will also be required at the new Pier district.

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