St. Pete introduces 'Race to Safe' campaign aimed at raising awareness of COVID-19 safety rules

City officials in St. Petersburg have launched a new campaign to get people to follow recommended CDC guidelines amid the coronavirus pandemic. They hope to get the message out ahead of the holidays.

Kriseman provided additional information on the “Race to Safe” campaign Monday on the steps of St. Petersburg City Hall reminding residents a mask order is in place.

Over the weekend, Pinellas County law enforcement officers were reminding businesses to follow the face-covering requirement and social distancing guidelines. Gov. Ron DeSantis' executive order said local governments cannot punish individuals for violations, but that doesn't prevent the businesses from facing fines, code violations, or even criminal charges for the owners. 

Mayor Kriseman said Pinellas County’s COVID-19 test positivity rate is the lowest among Florida’s most populated counties, but -- he says, "but we can and must do better."

RELATED: Pinellas sheriff deploying deputies to remind businesses to follow mask requirement, social distancing

The two-week COVID-19 test positivity rate in Pinellas County stands at 5.7%  Compare that to 8.4% in Miami-Dade County.   

"We want to get below 5%. That was our target before," he said Monday. "We really do believe with this campaign and raising awareness and educating the public again, trying to bring clarity to what the rules are, between the work that we're doing and the world the county is doing, that we'll see that number drop."

As cases spike last Thursday – city and county leaders came together to stress the importance of businesses following the local COVID ordinance.  

Deputies are distributing signs reminding everyone what the rules are, then conducting more checks to make sure establishments are requiring masks and physical distancing.   

Individuals can no longer be cited per the governor, but businesses can be fined up to $500 for not following rules.   

You can learn more about the Race to Safe campaign here.

The mayor's press conference can be viewed below: