For up-to-date COVID-19 (Coronavirus) information and cases, please visit the CDC or Florida Department of Health websites:
FL Dept. of Health www.floridahealth.gov (or call 1-866-779-6121)
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:
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 activated and operating virtually 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/
The School District of Lee County’s Food and Nutrition Services department will be serving a “Grab & Go” breakfast and lunch at 23 schools between March 23rd and 27th. The USDA has granted the District the flexibility to provide these meals during a time of unanticipated closure.
Breakfast and lunch will be served together in a single bag. The meals are free for anyone under 18 years of age. Each child must be present at the pick-up location to receive a “Grab & Go” bag. It is expected the meals will be eaten at home, and not the schools where they are picked up.
The meals will be available for pick-up between 9:00am and 11:00am at the following schools.
Cape Coral Elementary
Allen Park Elementary
The Alva School
James Stephens Int’l Academy
Orange River Elementary
Hector Cafferata Elementary
Ray V Pottorf Elementary
Tropic Isles Elementary
San Carlos Park Elementary
Mirror Lakes Elementary
North Fort Myers Academy for the Arts
Pinewoods Elementary Bonita Springs Elementary
Lehigh Acres Elementary Tortuga Preserve Elementary
Fort Myers Middle Academy
Food and Nutrition Services will be using the bus ramp of each of the schools to create an orderly process to drive or walk up, collect the “Grab & Go” meals, and then safely return home. School Resource Officers will be on site to help with security.
Several School District community partners are also opening to provide “Grab & Go” Meals March 23rd to the 27th between 9:00am and 11:00am. These include:
2980 Edison Ave.
Fort Myers, FL 33916
Boys & Girls Club of Pueblo Bonita
26095 Milagro Ln.
Bonita Springs, FL 34135
Pine Manor Improvement
5546 Ninth Ave.
Fort Myers, FL 33907
Wesley Super Kids Club
4141 Deleon St.
Fort Myers, FL 33901
Boys and Girls Renaissance
1623 Joust St.
Fort Myers, FL 33916
YMCA of Lee County (Royal Palm)
1360 Royal Palm Square Blvd.
Fort Myers, FL 33919
Super Kids Club Cypress Lake
8260 Cypress Lake Dr.
Fort Myers, FL 33919
Breakfast and lunch will continue to be available as long as the District is operating under an unanticipated closure.
Please find information on city cancellations and closures here: https://cityftmyers.com/CivicAlerts.aspx?AID=1077.
Continuing Services (subject to change):
City buildings/lobby areas: the City of Fort Myers has limited access to all lobby areas of city buildings. Members of the public are asked to conduct city business over the phone or by email. Access to city hall is limited to employees with key card entry. If it is determined an in-person meeting is required, it will be conducted by appointment, in accordance with Centers for Disease Control (CDC) social distancing guidelines, and take place in the common area outside of city hall when possible.
City of Fort Myers Public Safety: FMFD and FMPD have restricted access to public areas and are using social distancing precautions along with established COVID-19 protocols.
FMFD: Please utilize the intercom system located at the front door entrance of the lobby at Fire Station 11 (2033 Jackson Street) to contact staff. Fire industry contractors and service providers are being contacted to explain the processes to submit plans electronically, via drop box and by mail.
FMPD: In response to the COVID-19 outbreak, established several procedural changes have been established. The FMPD lobby is closed until further notice. Citizens will continue to receive police services but without physical access to the police department lobby, law enforcement window, or Records Section window. The emergency call box, located next to the lobby’s front doors, can be used to request police services or if someone needs immediate assistance.
For minor crimes, reports may be taken over the phone. Examples of such reports include, but are not limited to; past-occurring crimes, lost property, etc. Also, our dispatchers may be asking additional screening questions and asking the parties involved to step outside to speak with responding officer(s) to maintain a safe social distance. All fingerprinting for the general public will be suspended until further notice.
Community Development Department: Building, Permit and Inspection services, located at 1825 Hendry Street, continue to operate, with customers observing social distancing. The city encourages members of the public and clients use online resources and phone assistance where possible. Building inspections will continue except for the interior physical inspections of occupied structures due to virus transmission concerns.
The lobby for Community Development Department is open from 7:30 AM to 4:30 PM, Monday – Friday. All paper documents/plans will be quarantined for 48 hours prior to staff handling the documents/plans. We encourage all permit applications to be submitted electronically to email@example.com.
Online payments are accepted, or customers can pay by check or credit card at the cashier’s window, located at 1825 Hendry Street. Cash payments will not be accepted.
In-person inspections within interior spaces are suspended until further notice. Customers may schedule a live video conference for inspection of the following:
- A/C Changeouts
- Water Heater Changeouts
- Window Replacement (not available for video inspection)
- Door Replacement (not available for video inspection)
- Interior inspections for remodels/renovations of occupied buildings
Inspections will continue as normal for the following:
- New construction
- Exterior inspections
- Roof inspections
All workers on the job site shall step away from the job site when inspector shows up for inspection.
Building permits are not impacted by COVID-19 adjustments.
Fort Myers Cemetery: All Fort Myers Cemetery business will be conducted by appointment only. The public may drop off or mail payments. Client services will be provided by phone and internet. To make an appointment, please call 239-321-7040 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
City of Fort Myers solid waste and recycling services will continue with regularly scheduled routes: https://www.cityftmyers.com/1561/Schedules-and-Routes.
City parks remain open with CDC social distancing guidelines adherence recommended.
Golf facilities: the Eastwood Golf Course is closed as of Thursday, March 26. Fort Myers Country Club remains open, with social distancing observed with one person per cart and cart sanitizing between rounds.
LeeTran has waived all fares effective Monday, March 23. LeeTran fixed routes and Passport ADA transportation services will continue to operate on a regular schedule. Applications and reservations for ADA (Passport) service will be conducted over the phone by calling (239) 533-0300. https://www.leegov.com/leetran
IRS Coronavirus Tax Relief:
Stimulus payment information and tax filing deadline extension information is available at the Internal Revenue Service. The deadlines to file and pay federal income taxes are extended to July 15, 2020.
Apply for unemployment/reemployment with the Florida Department of Economic Opportunity: http://www.floridajobs.org/Reemployment-Assistance-Service-Center/reemployment-assistance/claimants/apply-for-benefits
Employ Florida: https://www.employflorida.com/vosnet/Default.aspx
Southwest Florida Career Source: https://careersourcesouthwestflorida.com/immediate-southwest-florida-job-openings/
Governor Ron DeSantis activated the Emergency Bridge Program for small businesses and the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) is offering low-interest federal disaster loans for working capital to Florida small businesses suffering substantial economic injury as a result of COVID-19.
Businesses can now apply for a Florida Small Business Emergency Bridge Loan. These short-term, interest-free working capital loans are intended to "bridge the gap" between the time a major catastrophe hits and when a business has secured longer term recovery resources, such as sufficient profits from a revived business, receipt of payments on insurance claims or federal disaster assistance. Eligible businesses can then apply for the SBA Loan and use the funds to pay back the Bridge Loan. The application period runs through May 8, 2020. The application form and additional details can be found at http://www.FloridaDisasterLoan.org.
The Small Business Authority (SBA) is providing targeted, low-interest loans to small businesses and non-profits that have been severely impacted by 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
Beware of scams surrounding COVID-19:
Please be aware of phishing scams and ads that promote false information. If you are looking for information on COVID-19, please visit the known, reputable websites listed above.
The Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency (CISA) warns individuals to remain vigilant for scams related to Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19). Cyber actors may send emails with malicious attachments or links to fraudulent websites to trick victims into revealing sensitive information or donating to fraudulent charities or causes. Exercise caution in handling any email with a COVID-19-related subject line, attachment, or hyperlink, and be wary of social media pleas, texts, or calls related to COVID-19.
CISA encourages individuals to remain vigilant and take the following precautions.
- Avoid clicking on links in unsolicited emails and be wary of email attachments. See Using Caution with Email Attachments and Avoiding Social Engineering and Phishing Scams for more information.
- Use trusted sources—such as legitimate, government websites—for up-to-date, fact-based information about COVID-19.
- Do not reveal personal or financial information in email, and do not respond to email solicitations for this information.
- Verify a charity’s authenticity before making donations. Review the Federal Trade Commission’s page on Charity Scams for more information.
- Review CISA Insights on Risk Management for COVID-19 for more information.