Play Live Radio
Next Up:
0:00 0:00
Available On Air Stations
News about coronavirus in Florida and around the world is constantly emerging. It's hard to stay on top of it all but Health News Florida can help. Our responsibility is to keep you informed, and to help discern what’s important for your family as you make what could be life-saving decisions.

Pinellas Votes To Enact Stay-At-Home Order For 1 Week

County administrator Barry Burton says many residents are staying home and abiding by social distancing guidelines, but stronger measures are needed.
The Florida Channel
Leon County Judge John Cooper on June 30, 2022, in a screen grab from The Florida Channel.

Pinellas County residents are being directed to stay at home for one week, starting Thursday morning, under a stay-at-home resolution approved by county commissioners Wednesday.

The measure permits residents to leave their homes only for essential trips, such as going to the grocery store or doctor.

Non-essential businesses remain open, provided they follow Centers for Disease Control social distancing guidelines.

CORONAVIRUS: Complete Coverage From WUSF And Health News Florida

County administrator Barry Burton says many residents are staying home and abiding by social distancing guidelines, but stronger measures are needed.

“If you do not employ these practices, we have no choice but to take more aggressive actions to keep our residents safe,” Burton said.

People can also exercise outside as long as they stay 6 feet away from others.

The measure goes into effect just before 11:30 Thursday morning and will last at least seven days.

Pinellas Sheriff Bob Gualtieri says his deputies will enforce the resolution, but he pointed out it's not a total shutdown of the county.

After the vote, St. Petersburg Mayor Rick Kriseman said, while he would have preferred stronger measures, his city will follow it – for now.

Speaking at a Wednesday press conference, Kriseman said his main concern is that the county order allows nonessential businesses to remain open, provided they follow social distancing guidelines to keep customers and employees six feet apart, as well as limit the number of customers inside a building.

“I would rather this be a countywide approach or a regional approach, if we can be. And so we're going to give it a couple days and see how it works,” he said. “But I have an order that if I need to enter it, we’ll enter it. I hope I don't have to.

“And the difference would be is non-essential businesses would need to be closed. And that's really the big difference,” Kriseman added. “It's that one sentence that really makes the big difference from my perspective.”The county order also means:

  • County public parks will stay open, but all playgrounds within the park will be closed.
  • Non-essential businesses are ordered to close storefront operations and customer foot traffic if they can't meet CDC guidelines. 
  • Essential businesses may continue operations following the appropriate guidelines to the maximum extent possible, including first responders, jails, hospitals, and community based organizations that provide meals and social services.

WUSF 89.7 depends on donors for the funding It takes to provide you the most trusted source of news and information here in town, across our state, and around the world. Support WUSF now by giving monthly, or make a one-time donation online at

Copyright 2020 WUSF Public Media - WUSF 89.7

Bradley George comes to WUSF from Atlanta, where he was a reporter, host, and editor at Georgia Public Broadcasting. While in Atlanta, he reported for NPR, Marketplace, Here & Now, and The Takeaway. His work has been recognized by , the Georgia Associated Press, and the Atlanta Press Club. Prior to his time in Georgia, Bradley worked at public radio stations in Tennessee, Alabama, and North Carolina.
Mark Schreiner has been the producer and reporter for "University Beat" on WUSF 89.7 FM since 2001 and on WUSF TV from 2007-2017.