Pinellas extends state of emergency, mask mandate

As expected, Pinellas County commissioners voted Tuesday to extend their local COVID-19 state of emergency for another week.

The order has been extended every week since March. It allows the county to request additional resources from the state and federal government to deal with the pandemic, and allows the county's mask mandate to continue.

Pinellas County has consistently been among the areas with the lowest COVID-19 positivity rates, especially for urban areas; the two week rolling average for new tests is at 4.33%. But they also have the highest death toll in the Bay Area. 

After hearing public comment and an update from local experts, the commnission voted unanimously to extend the state of emergency.


Florida face-covering rules: List of mandatory coronavirus mask orders in the Tampa Bay area

Doctors and local officials in Florida are encouraging the use of face-coverings, and in some cases, mandating it. Several Florida counties and some local municipalities have mask orders in place to fight the spread of COVID-19.