TAMPA, Fla — Coronavirus cases continue to surge across Tampa Bay as more people test positive for the virus.
"We've seen an explosion in the number of positive cases," Tampa Mayor Jane Castor said.
Both Mayor Castor and St. Pete Mayor Rick Kriseman are watching the numbers closely to keep their communities safe.
"I do believe that the mask order was appropriate, may have been a better idea to do that a little bit earlier," Mayor Castor said.
While both cities have mask orders in place, city leaders aren't sure face masks will be enough to keep numbers from rising.
"I've been concerned really, with our hospital capacity since mid-March. If the data that we see in the next week or two shows us that the mask mandate is not working, then we're going to end up having to take some additional actions," Mayor Kriseman said.
In addition, Tampa is looking at mass testing in hotspots for the virus as well as pool testing.
Hillsborough and Pinellas Counties have the most COVID-19 cases in Tampa Bay. In Hillsborough, 15,362 people have tested positive and in Pinellas, 9,032 have tested positive. ICU beds in both counties continue to fill up.
"We're still seeing the numbers spike, of course, the ICU beds are very limited this week. The good news is that we do have another test site coming on board." Pinellas County Chair Pat Gerard said.
County leaders are working to increase testing and get resources to the hardest-hit areas. With a high percentage of positives in both counties (Pinellas 12.3%, Hillsborough 17.1%) the number of coronavirus cases won't be trending downward any time soon.
"Let's start looking at the people's lives that we're trying to save. It's not only about their lives, but everyone's life. So if those numbers tick up, we're gonna have to have a discussion about what we do in Hillsborough County," Hillsborough County Chair Les Miller said.
They're trying their best to avoid shutting down parts of the county. They all believe it's time for Governor Ron DeSantis to put restrictions in place across the state.
"It's only so effective if we only do it, one county here and one county here. Be a leader. Say something. Do something and make it right to save lives in the state," Miller said.
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