Lee County expected to discuss stay-at-home order at next meeting

Writer: Jack Lowenstein
Published: Updated:
Empty walkway on Fort Myers Beach during coronavirus pandemic March 2020. Credit: WINK News.

At this point, all Lee County beaches are closed; Fort Myers Beach Town Council said rule breakers could face fines up to $5,000 for disobeying current restrictions; and the City of Sanibel decided not to vote on a shelter-in-place order in response to the spread of the coronavirus.

But, after a warning from Lee County Sheriff’s Office, the Board of Commissioners of Lee County are expected to consider a countywide stay-at-home order Monday during its next meeting.

Fort Myers Beach is not the bustling island town we’re used to seeing. Town leaders closed down beach access, parking lots and commercial activity last week to prevent the spread of COVID-19. Currently, people are strongly encouraged to stay home.

Lee County deputies will be out in full force this weekend to monitor spots such as a boat ramp filled with cars Friday morning.

Sanibel leaders at a special meeting Friday decided not to issue a shelter-in-place order yet.

Meanwhile, state Representative Heather Fitzenhagen wrote a letter to Lee County commissioners encouraging them to issue a shelter-in-place order because of COVID-19.

Credit: The office of Florida Congresswoman Heather Fitzenhgagen.

“We live in unprecedented times, which calls for unprecedented action,” Fitzenhagen wrote in her letter to commissioners.

In a response on twitter, Commissioner Brian Hamman said, β€œThe conversation is ongoing about how to continue to protect our community.”

Lee County commissioners are scheduled to meet Monday morning, where we expect them to talk about a shelter-in-place order.

If they do go through with that, non-essential businesses will temporarily close. And residents will be told to stay home unless it’s to go grocery shopping or other activities that meet criteria set by commissioners.

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