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Virus-related updates on island activities, more

By Staff | Mar 12, 2020

In response to the coronavirus (COVID-19), the following announcements, closures and/or postponements have been reported on Sanibel and Captiva to date:


The city of Sanibel reported that in an abundance of caution, the group fitness classes and personal training at the Sanibel Recreation Center and Center 4 Life have been canceled until March 23.

At this time, both facilities remain open.

For more information, contact Recreation Director Trish Phillips at trish.phillips@mysanibel.com, City Manager Judie Zimomra at judie.zimomra@mysanibel.com, or call the center at 239-472-0345.


The J.N. “Ding” Darling National Wildlife Refuge is taking precautions in light of COVID-19.

It will be adding four portable hand sanitizer stations in the Visitor & Education Center by next week and has instructed staff and volunteers at the refuge and Tarpon Bay Explorers to be vigilant about washing their hands and stepping up sanitization of all touchable surfaces.

All facilities and tours remain open, but the refuge has suspended its loaner binocular program and rovers’ spotting scopes services to lessen exposure to volunteers and visitors.

Refuge staff will continue to plan for future disruptions in normal operations and mitigate risks of exposure to staff, volunteers and visitors where possible.

Future decisions to close facilities and programs will be made in consultation with local health officials and recommendations from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.


The Bat Yam Temple of the Islands reported that its board of directors of the congregation, due to serious concerns raised by the coronavirus, voted unanimously to suspend all public activities, services, classes, its Passover Seder and the annual meeting immediately for a month.

The board will thereafter evaluate the severity of the situation and decide what to do then.


The Island Jazz will not perform as scheduled on March 15 from 3 to 5 p.m. in the BIG ARTS Garden on Sanibel. In addition, the remaining Sunday performances have been postponed until future notice.


The Island Writers will not perform on March 18 at 7:30 p.m. at the BIG ARTS Strauss Theater on Sanibel. The event has been postponed for the time being; any future rescheduling will be announced.

For more information, contact Joe Pacheco at sanibeljoe@comcast.net or 239-472-1280.