St. Pete mayor preps stay-at-home order, but says governor should provide 'statewide uniformity'

The mayor of St. Petersburg says he is ready to move forward with a stay-at-home order to help slow the spread of COVID-19 if the governor won’t act first.

In a Facebook message from the city’s emergency operations center, Mayor Rick Kriseman announced Tuesday that St. Pete residents should “expect to see something happening in the very near future” and suggested that he might act in concert with other local leaders.

“I believe Gov. DeSantis should implement a statewide stay-at-home-order, limiting movement that is not essential. If he doesn’t act quickly, cities and counties will,” Kriseman stated.

Kriseman said he had spoken with Tampa Mayor Jane Castor, who failed Monday to convince Hillsborough County leaders to enact a similar order, as well as other Bay Area community leaders.

“We don’t want to be an island on this,” Kriseman continued. “The best way to approach this is statewide, but if we’re not going to get that, we’ll approach it regionally.”

While he encouraged everyone to use social distancing at the city’s parks and stores, the mayor stressed that any stay-at-home order would allow exceptions for exercise and essential services. Residents would not be arrested for leaving their homes.

RELATED: Stay at home: These states have issued orders for residents not to go out amid COVID-19 pandemic

"This is not a lockdown, not a curfew, not martial law," he added.

Kriseman also said the city is looking at Tropicana Field and other locations for possible large-scale COVID-19 testing sites.

If you feel sick:

The Florida Department of Health has opened a COVID-19 Call Center at 1-866-779-6121. Agents will answer questions around the clock. Questions may also be emailed to Email responses will be sent during call center hours.

LINKFlorida's COVID-19 website

CORONAVIRUS IN FLORIDAWhat you need to know


Map of known COVID-19 cases:

MOBILE APP USERS: Click here for map