Data through March 19 from ClickOrlando.com timeline; for March 20 onward, data are from Florida Department of Health
– Gypsy C. Gallardo for Power Broker Media Group
Governor Ron DeSantis is still declining to issue “stay at home” orders, while at least two local mayors appear on the verge of doing so.
Against the pushback of Hillsborough County Commissioners, City of Tampa Mayor Jane Castor moved to issue a “stay at home” order this afternoon, which drew an immediate counter-order by Hillsborough County Administrator Mike Merrill. See this afternoon’s Tampa Bay Times article about the “open conflict.”
St. Petersburg Mayor Rick Kriseman held an afternoon briefing signaling that his administration is still considering such an order. He is on record calling for Governor DeSantis to proceed with “stay at home” restrictions.
The case count in the Tampa Bay region climbed by 18% today (over yesterday’s counts). By day’s end, Hillsborough County has 95 cases, Pinellas County 45, Polk County 13, Manatee County 16, Sarasota 26, and Pasco 16. Among these counties, two deaths are reported (1 in Pinellas and 1 in Manatee), which remains unchanged from yesterday.
The health community has now administered 16,046 tests across the state (up 2,351 since last night). Some healthcare leaders advise that continued testing will cause the case counts to climb in the coming days, but that containment efforts may, in fact, be working to stem the spread.
Meanwhile, a petition urging Governor DeSantis to #ShutDownFlorida has garnered 171,000 over the past two days. The push was initiated by Julio Torres at Change.org. To lend your voice, sign the petition at this link.
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