Coronavirus


COVID-19 information center

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).

NEW: LEE COUNTY EMERGENCY ASSISTANCE PROGRAMS ACCEPTING APPLICATIONS

Individual assistance of up to $2000 per household is available to qualified applicants:

  • Payments will be made directly to landlord, mortgage company and/or utility company.
  • Household income must be less than $55,000/year at time of application.
  • Applicant must have had a loss of employment or reduced work hours due to COVID-19.

Apply online at https://leeflcares.com.

Small Business Relaunch Program is a grant of up to $5000 for eligible businesses affected by the "Safer at Home" order:

  • Intended to help offset the unintended costs of reopening or relaunching a small business as a result of being directly affected by Governor DeSantis’ Safer at Home Act.
  • Funds can only be used to reimburse the costs of business interruption caused by required closures that are not covered by insurance or another federal program. 
  • Business must have 25 or fewer employees, and the business owner must be a Lee County resident.

Apply online at https://leeflcares.com.

PPE for Small Businesses Program provides industry sectors with high-intensity personal contact with protective equipment (mask, hand sanitizer, gloves):

  • The following business segments (with less than 25 employees) are eligible for PPE Kits: Medical and dental practices, childcare services and youth camps, museums and historical sites, amusement and recreation centers, independant restaurants, barber shops, beauty salons, nail salons and personal care services.
  • Each kit will contain a predetermined quantity of surgical masks, rubber gloves and hand sanitizer (while supplies last).
  • Approved applicants will be emailed a confirmation receipt and directions for pick up.

Apply online at https://leeflcares.com.

FULL PHASE 1 FACILITY OPENINGS

*It is critical that everyone follow CDC (Center for Disease Control) guidelines in order for these facilities and activities to remain available to the public. City leaders continue to monitor Florida Department of Health data and work closely with Lee county on the phased reopening of public amenities.*

In conjunction with full Phase 1 implementation, the City of Fort Myers is reopening pools, playgrounds, pavilions, courts, multipurpose fields (soccer/football) and fishing piers beginning Friday, May 22. Park users are advised to observe all CDC guidelines, with social distancing procedures in place where applicable. Park restrooms are open in locations where facilities are available. 

City baseball fields remain open for groups of 10 or less who want to practice baseball or softball, with related dugouts, benches and bleachers remaining closed. The suspension of league play is still in effect until further notice. Outdoor tennis and pickle ball courts are open with normal operating hours. The Fort Myers Country Club and Eastwood golf courses are open. 

At this time, indoor recreation centers, including STARS Complex, Skatium and Riverside Community Center, remain closed to the public. 

Pool usage and guidelines: The Fort Myers Aquatics Center and Golfview pools will be available for physical exercise seven days a week from 9:00 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. by reservation of 90-minute time slots. 

  • One swimmer per lane, per 90-minute time slot is allowed.
  • Indoor showers and changing rooms are not available at this time. 
  • Youth swim teams will be available to practice under USA’s swimming guidelines.  

For more information, please visit https://cityftmyers.com/1388/Aquatics. To make a reservation, please contact the Aquatic Center at 239-321-7553.

Multipurpose field and softball/baseball guidelines: Multipurpose fields and city baseball fields are open for groups of 10 or less who want to practice. 

  • Dugouts, benches and bleachers remain closed.
  • The suspension of league play is still in effect until further notice.

To reserve a baseball or multipurpose field for practice, please contact Matt Fairchild at 239-321-7527.

NEW: Vacation rental guidelines

Effective June 1, 2020, the following measures are required as minimum standards for vacation rentals in Lee County Florida that are accepting reservations and guests for any length of stay: 

  • Reservations will not be permitted nor new guests accepted for check-in from areas identified by Governor DeSantis through Executive Orders as high-risk (currently CT, LA, NJ and NY); reservations made prior to an area being designated as high-risk can be honored. Areas may be added or deleted based upon further Executive Orders by the Governor without the need for further amendment of the plan. 
  • Shall prohibit rentals to persons traveling internationally.  
  • Shall allow adequate time between the conclusion of a guest stay and the check-in of the next guest stay for appropriate cleaning and sanitation.
  • Shall clean and disinfect all frequently-touched surfaces in the property between each guest stay.
  • Shall wash all linens, dishware, and other service items available for use by guests between each guest rental.
  • Shall provide sufficient soap and surface sanitation supplies for guests to utilize in the vacation rental property during the guest’s rental period.
  • Shall ensure adequate safety protocols are in place and publicly displayed, in line with CDC guidance, regarding shared or multi-residence amenities such as pools, gyms, and other communal spaces.
  • Vacation rental property owners/managers shall follow CDC guidelines for cleaning and disinfecting their facility. Click on the following link to review CDC sanitation guidelines: https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/community/disinfecting-building-facility.html 

Testing Sites:  All test sites are free. At this time, none of these sites are offering the COVID-19 antibody test.

Fort Myers

Location: Lee County Department of Health located at 3920 Michigan Avenue

Hours: 8:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. Monday through Friday

Walk-up and drive-up testing is available by appointment at the Lee County Department of Health main office, located at 3920 Michigan Avenue. 

  • Call 239-332-9501 for an appointment. 

Fort Myers

Location: Walmart parking lot located at 4770 Colonial Boulevard.

Hours:  7:00 a.m. to 9:00 a.m. Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays

Individuals will have to meet testing criteria, which can be found on the Quest website. First responders do not have to have a doctor’s order or symptoms to get tested.

  • The site will require an appointment at www.MyQuestCOVIDTest.com. Visit the site for more information on who can be tested and criteria.
  • This is a drive-thru site and there will be NO testing in Walmart stores.
  • Results will take between an average of two days after collection to receive.

Fort Myers

Location: CenturyLink Sports Complex, 14100 Ben C. Pratt/Six-Mile Cypress Pkwy., Ft. Myers

Hours: 9:00 am - 5:00 pm, 7 days a week. Last car to be admitted into the gate at 3:00 pm.

  • No appointment, doctor’s note, or prescription is required.
  • Testing will be available for individuals over the age of 18 regardless of symptoms.
  • The test site is drive-thru only.
  • Individuals being tested will not be permitted to exit their vehicle.

Fort Myers

Location: Lee Convenient Care - Page Field, 4771 S Cleveland Ave Fort Myers, FL 33907

Hours: Noon to 4 p.m. Seven Days a Week

  • This site will support testing for residents in the area, including Lee County and Collier County residents.
  • Lee Health public health experts now provide mobile collection sites for members of the community who have been screened by a physician, received lab orders and made an appointment by calling 239-343-9800.

North Fort Myers

Location: Walmart parking lot located at 545 Pine Island Road.

Hours: 7:00 a.m. to 9:00 a.m. Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays

Individuals will have to meet testing criteria, which can be found on the Quest website. First responders do not have to have a doctor’s order or symptoms to get tested.

  • The site will require an appointment at www.MyQuestCOVIDTest.com. Visit the site for more information on who can be tested criteria.
  • This is a drive-thru site and there will be NO testing in Walmart stores.
  • Results will take between an average of two days after collection to receive.

Lehigh Acres

Location: The Walmart located at 2522 Lee Blvd.

Hours: 7:00 a.m. to 10:00 a.m. Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays 

  • This site does require that you are experiencing symptoms and also requires an appointment be made at www.MyQuestCOVIDTest.com

Governor DeSantis issues Executive Order 20-112 Phase 1: Safe. Smart. Step-by-Step. Plan for Florida’s Recovery

Executive Order 20-112 lays out Phase 1 of the governor’s recovery plan. Please see the related Frequently Asked Questions for more details.

City Response:

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:

· 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 activated and operating virtually at this time. Further updates will be shared as more information becomes available.

Public Health Resources:

http://www.floridahealth.gov/ 

https://www.cdc.gov/ 

https://www.who.int/ 

https://www.leehealth.org/

Diagnosis:

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 COVID-19@flhealth.gov 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!

Community Resources:

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/

Donations:

For information on donations needed by Lee Health visit https://www.leehealth.org/public-health or call (239)343-6950  

For information on donations needed by The Salvation Army and for extended pantry hours visit https://salvationarmyflorida.org/fortmyers/

Volunteer:

Community Cooperative: Volunteers are needed to help pack emergency food and deliver meals to Meals on Wheels Clients. Call 239-433-SOUP.

Harry Chapin Food Bank: To learn more about volunteering with Harry Chapin Food Bank in this time of need, visit https://harrychapinfoodbank.org/take-action/give-time/volunteer/

The Salvation Army Fort Myers Command: Visit the Volunteer Portal and consider registering for one of the opportunities there. Expanded Food Pantry hours, have a variety of shifts available. Call or email with any questions or problems. Kris Volpone, 239-628-1422 Kristen.Volpone@uss.salvationarmy.org .

United Way Volunteer Center: To volunteer with United way please visit https://www.unitedwaylee.org/volunteer/  or email Kim@unitedwaylee.org

For guidelines on do’s and don’ts of volunteering visit: https://unitedwaynefl.org/volunteering-safely-during-the-covid-19-pandemic/

Food and Nutrition:

The following agencies and associations are currently providing food assistance through mobile pantry distribution or meal pickup programs:

Harry Chapin Food Bank and Food Locator 

Community Cooperative

The Salvation Army

Lee County School District

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. Breakfast and lunch will continue to be available as long as the District is operating under an unanticipated closure.

Executive Orders:

The city is still open and operating with appropriate modifications due to COVID-19. For more information about all COVID-19 executive orders, essential services and activities addressed,  visit flgov.com.

City Closures:

Please find information on city cancellations and closures here: https://www.cityftmyers.com/CivicAlerts.aspx?AID=1094 

Continuing Services (subject to change):

Please find information on continuing city services here: https://cityftmyers.com/CivicAlerts.aspx?AID=1080

Lee Tran service modifications can also be found on the continuing services page listed above or at https://www.leegov.com/leetran/covid19modifiedschedules

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.

Unemployment Resources:

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/ 

Financial Assistance:

Many financial institutions are working with their customers in response to unforeseen financial burdens caused by COVID-19.

The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau offers a variety of financial resources for consumers about mortgage relief, dealing with debt, and protecting your credit.

The Federal Housing Finance Agency offers guidance on mortgage help for homeowners impacted by Coronavirus. If your ability to pay your mortgage is impacted, and your loan is owned by Fannie Mae or Freddie Mac, you may be eligible to delay making your monthly mortgage payments for a temporary period, during which you won’t incur late fees, and foreclosure and other legal proceedings will be suspended. Contact your mortgage servicer (the company where you send your monthly payments) as soon as possible to let them know about your current circumstances.

Lee County Government offers a Homelessness Prevention Program providing assistance with past due rent, mortgage or utilities if there is a qualifying unexpected, temporary loss of income. In addition, help with electric bills is available through the Low Income Energy Assistance Program.

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.