ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. — Infectious disease experts have said it several times: without a vaccine, masks are the only way to help stop the spread of coronavirus.
Over the last few days, we've seen an uptick of COVID-19 cases across the state. But in Tampa Bay, the number of tests coming back positive are trending up in Hillsborough, Pinellas, Polk, and Manatee counties.
Epidemiologists say it's because of a lack of social distancing and people not wearing a mask.
10 Tampa Bay reached out directly to each county's commission chair to see if there could be a mask order implemented there.
The answer was not the same across the board.
Manatee County Chair, Betsy Benac:
"I'm pretty sure that would never pass in Manatee County. To have a mandatory mask requirement. You know, it's not even uniform in different public locations."
Polk County Chair, Bill Braswell:
"We won't consider that. I'll be curious to sit back and watch and see how St. Pete's mandatory mask order works. If we see Pinellas County and St. Pete plummet in positive cases of corona, then we would certainly think about it."
Pinellas County Chair, Pat Gerard:
"We've talked about that on and off. The only problem with that is, if you make a rule, you have to enforce it. I'm not sure how you enforce it."
Hillsborough County, Chair Les Miller:
"I know we can't get it done here in Hillsborough County right now. I wish we could, but we can't so the only thing we can encourage is please, please, please wear a mask."
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