TAMPA, Fla. — Florida's Democratic Congressional Delegation has sent a letter to Governor Ron DeSantis, urging he implement a statewide mask order.
What You Need To Know
- Florida Democrats pushing for statewide mask ordinance from Gov. Ron DeSantis
- Gov. has allowed local state governments to make their own ordinances
- 3 Bay area counties now have mask ordinances
The Governor has pushed back on a statewide order, but has allowed local governments to implement their own ordinances based on their Coronavirus numbers.
Democrats, led by Debbie Wasserman-Shultz, said in the letter to the Governor, "We’re sounding the alarm for the governor to end this parade of mistakes and issue a mandatory order to all residents that they need to wear masks in public." The letter goes on to say, "The governor must end his ‘nothing to see here’ approach and put public health over political pandering to his base.”
Governor DeSantis has argued rural areas of Florida are not seeing spikes in cases like urban population centers, so ordering a statewide mask mandate would be unfair to areas not being impacted by the virus.
The governor also said numerous Florida cities and counties that are seeing a spike in Coronavirus positive cases have implemented mask ordinances which the state will not block.
"We advised from the beginning of May, we advised if you can't social distance wear the mask and if you are in face to face business," Governor Ron Desantis said. "So that message has been very clear and consistent. But ultimately we've got to trust people to make good decisions."
As the political battle of mask ordinances continues, local governments across the Tampa Bay Area that have implemented mask laws are handing out free masks to the public.
Here's the list:
E.G. Simmons Park, 2401 19th Ave. NW in Ruskin
Upper Tampa Bay Park, 8001 Double Branch Road in Tampa
Lake Park, 17302 N. Dale Mabry Highway in Lutz
Lithia Springs Park, 3932 Lithia Springs Road in Lithia
The sites will be open as supplies last:
Thursday, June 25 and Friday, June 26 from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m.
Saturday, June 27 from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m.
Monday, June 29 through Thursday, July 2 from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m.
• Clearwater Main Library, 100 N. Osceola Ave.; (727) 562-4970
Monday-Thursday: 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.; 3 p.m. to 6 p.m.
Friday-Sunday: Noon to 2 p.m., 3 p.m. to 5 p.m.
• Palm Harbor Library, 2330 Nebraska Ave.; (727) 784-3332
Monday-Thursday: 10 a.m. to 8 p.m.
Friday-Saturday: 10 a.m to 5 p.m.
• Lealman Exchange 5157 45th St.N., St. Petersburg; (727) 464-5404
Monday-Friday: 8 a.m. to 5 p.m.
Closed Saturday and Sunday
• Barbara S. Ponce Public Library, 7770 52nd St. N., Pinellas Park; (727) 369-0669
Monday-Thursday;10 a.m. to 1 p.m.; 2 p.m to 7 p.m.
Friday-Saturday: 10 a.m. to 1 p.m.; 2 p.m. to 5 p.m.
Sunday: 1 p.m. to 5 p.m. (727) 369-0669
• St. Petersburg Free Clinic, 863 3rd Ave. N., St. Petersburg, (727) 821-1200
Thursday 8:30 a.m. to 7 p.m.
Closed Friday to Sunday
Monday-Tuesday; 8:30 a.m. to 3 p.m.
Masks will also be available at these locations starting Friday:
• Largo Public Library, 120 Central Park Dr., (727) 587-6715
Friday: 10 a.m. to 6 p.m.,
Saturday: 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.
• Highpoint Neighborhood Family Center, 5812 150th Ave. N., Clearwater (727) 533-0730
Monday-Friday: 9:00 a.m. to 5 p.m.