In light of the COVID-19 pandemic and emergency declarations issued by President Donald Trump and Florida Governor Ron DeSantis, the City of Fort Myers is prepared to meet demands for delivery of essential services, specifically in the areas of public safety (police and fire), public works (sanitation, water utilities, etc.), and other functions of government. Each department is executing a Continuity of Operations Plan for the delivery of essential services. Special department-specific protocols are already in place to guard against the spread of COVID-19.
The safety of our citizens and employees is our utmost priority. Employees have been instructed to follow recommended Centers for Disease and Control (CDC) and Florida Department of Health (FDOH) protocols and to wash hands frequently, avoid contact with those who are sick, and stay home from work when sick. Additional hand sanitizing stations are in place throughout city facilities, and the frequency of environmental cleaning has been increased as a preventative measure. The city is following CDC recommended social distancing guidelines.
“We are working together with our community partners to address this rapidly evolving situation,” said Mayor Randall Henderson. “Our citizens can be assured that our city, Lee County and Lee Health, in close coordination with the Florida Department of Health, are taking proactive steps to provide access to services and preparing to accommodate a growing number of COVID-19 affected individuals.”
Updates and prevention materials are being provided on social media and cityftmyers.com to keep members of the public and employees up to date on the latest developments. To find detailed, up-to-date information on COVID-19, please visit the following known, reputable websites:
· Florida Department of Health updates
· Centers for Disease and Control Prevention updates
· World Health Organization updates
In addition, residents should be aware of phishing scams and ads that promote false information. The Federal Trade Commission issued a warning that scammers are taking advantage of fears surrounding COVID-19. Don’t click on links from unknown sources, ignore offers for vaccinations that currently do not exist online or in stores, and conduct research when it comes to donations, whether through charities or crowdfunding sites.
The city continues to partner with federal, state and county officials on planning, preparedness and response efforts. The city’s Emergency Operations Center (EOC) is monitoring the situation and is not activated at this time. Further updates will be shared as more information becomes available.
Public health resources
If you are experiencing symptoms and/or feel you may have been exposed to the virus and want to be checked, please call the Florida Department of Health COVID-19 call center (available 24/7) at 866-779-6121 or email your questions to COVIDfirstname.lastname@example.org before traveling to any healthcare facility.
PLEASE REFRAIN FROM GOING DIRECTLY TO THE DOCTOR’S OFFICE AND/OR SHOWING UP AT THE EMERGENCY ROOM (unless there is a true life safety issue) DUE TO THE HIGH RISK OF SPREADING THE VIRUS TO OTHERS!
United Way 2-1-1 is activated as a non-emergency hotline that provides free and confidential information on health and human services. 2-1-1 call centers are staffed from 8:00 a.m to 6:00 p.m. daily by trained Information and Referral Specialists who quickly assess needs and refer callers to the help that they seek. https://www.211unitedway.org/
The Community Foundation of Southwest Florida Community Foundation has activated its emergency relief fund to collect donations to aid in Coronavirus relief. The Funds will complement the work of public health officials and expand local capacity to address the outbreak as effectively as possible. Donations to this fund will help rapidly deploy resources to basic needs and healthcare nonprofit organizations to support their programs as well as their staff at the front lines of our community’s coronavirus outbreak. https://floridacommunity.com/community-foundations-of-collier-county-and-southwest-florida-launch-coronavirus-relief-funds/
Small Business Authority will work directly with state Governors to provide targeted, low-interest loans to small businesses and non-profits that have been severely impacted by the Coronavirus (COVID-19). The SBA’s Economic Injury Disaster Loan program provides small businesses with working capital loans of up to $2 million that can provide vital economic support to small businesses to help overcome the temporary loss of revenue they are experiencing. https://www.sba.gov/page/coronavirus-covid-19-small-business-guidance-loan-resources
Please find information on city cancelations and closures here: https://cityftmyers.com/CivicAlerts.aspx?AID=1077.
Continuing services (subject to change)
City of Fort Myers solid waste and recycling services will continue with regularly scheduled routes: https://www.cityftmyers.com/1561/Schedules-and-Routes.
Community Development Department Building, Permit and Inspection services remain open, with building permit being issued. Employees are following social distancing guidelines and the city encourages the public and clients use online resources and phone assistance where possible.
City parks remain open with CDC social distancing guidelines adherence recommended.
Lee County transportation services include LeeTran fixed routes and Passport ADA transportation services will continue to operate on a regular schedule.