For up-to-date COVID-19 (Coronavirus) information and cases, please visit the CDC or Florida Department of Health websites: CDC www.coronavirus.gov, 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 city 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. https://floridacommunity.com/community-foundations-of-collier-county-and-southwest-florida-launch-coronavirus-relief-funds/
Food and Nutrition:
The following agencies and associations are currently providing food assistance through mobile pantry distribution or meal pickup programs:
The Lee County School District’s Food and Nutrition Services department will be serving a “Grab & Go” breakfast and lunch at selected schools and community sites. The USDA has granted the District the flexibility to provide these meals during a time of unanticipated closure. Breakfast and lunch will continue to be available as long as the District is operating under an unanticipated closure.
Safer at Home Executive Order:
The executive order released by Governor Ron DeSantis on April 1, 2020 directs Floridians to limit movements and personal interactions outside of their home.
The city is still open and operating with appropriate modifications due to COVID-19. For more information about essential services and activities addressed in the executive order, visit flgov.com.
Please find information on city cancellations and closures here: https://cityftmyers.com/CivicAlerts.aspx?AID=1077.
Continuing Services (subject to change):
Please find information on continuing city services here: https://cityftmyers.com/CivicAlerts.aspx?AID=1080
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. 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 provide economic support to small businesses to help overcome the temporary loss of revenue they are experiencing because of (COVID-19). More information at 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.