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Lee County to consider advisory resolution Monday to limit expose of ‘vulnerable’ residents to COVID-19

By Staff | Mar 29, 2020

The Lee County Board of County Commissioners will hold an Emergency Meeting Monday to consider a resolution asking “vulnerable” residents to stay home to limit exposure to the new coronavirus, COVID-19.

The meeting will be held at 9:30 a.m. on March 30, in Room 118 of the Administration Building, 2201 Second Street.

According to a memo from County Attorney Richard Wm. Wesch, the draft Resolution to be considered “is NOT a ‘shut down’ Resolution” but a document that incorporates Executive Order Number 20-83 issued by Gov. Ron DeSantis last week to mitigate the spread of the new coronavirus, COVID-19.

In summation, actions proposed in the draft resolution include:

NOW, THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED:

1. This Emergency Resolution adopts the Florida Surgeon General’s Public Health Advisory of March 25, 2020 in furtherance of protecting the health and safety of the vulnerable populations of Lee County, specifically that:

a. VULNERABLE POPULATIONS

1) All individuals over the age of 65 and all individuals of any age with high-risk conditions should remain in their residence and take all measures to limit the risk of exposure to COVID-19.

These measures include, but are not limited to: limiting contact with all persons outside of the home and distancing any unavoidable contact by a minimum of six feet; washing hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds, or using hand sanitizer with at least 60% alcohol; avoiding unnecessary touching of eyes, nose, and mouth, and washing hands prior to doing so; and cleaning and disinfecting high-touch surfaces, including entryway door handles.

2) High-risk conditions include, but are not limited to: chronic lung disease; moderate to severe asthma; serious heart conditions; immunocompromised status (as a result of cancer treatment, bone marrow or organ transplant, immune deficiencies, poorly controlled HIV or AIDS, or prolonged use of corticosteroids and other immune weakening medications); cancer; severe obesity (body mass index [BMI]>40); diabetes; renal failure; and liver disease.

b. GATHERINGS OF PRIVATE CITIZENS

All individuals should cease participation in social or recreational gatherings of more than 10 people. For all gatherings of fewer than 10 people, individuals should practice social distancing by maintaining a distance of at least six feet from each other.

c. DENSITY OF THE WORKFORCE

All business owners, supervisors, managers and others in charge of conducting business in the state of Florida should allow telework of employees to the extent that can be accomplished without significantly disrupting the ability to conduct business. Employers should make every effort to reduce the onsite workforce to 50% capacity, where possible, to the extent that reduction can be accomplished without significantly disrupting the ability to conduct business.

If approved, the resolution would remain in force and effect until either it is repealed by the county commission or until the State of Local Emergency expires.

In Lee County, 124 individuals had tested positive for COVID-19 as of Sunday morning – 63 in Fort Myers, 17 in Cape Coral, 9 in Lehigh Acres, six each in North Fort Myers and Estero, two on Sanibel and one on Captiva. Two positives were not classified by community.

COVID-19 is a highly contagious viral disease. For most individuals, symptoms are mild. For a minority, the disease becomes a type of viral pneumonia with severe complications. Especially at risk are those who are older, those with underlying health conditions and the immune-compromised.

Officials have strongly urged all members of the public who can, to remain at home so as to limit exposure and so limit the number of cases so as to not overwhelm the health care system with at-risk and severe cases.

Some have called for mandatory stay-in-place orders as some states and communities where the virus has spread have ordered.

So far, Gov. Ron DeSantis has declined to issue such an order and, as indicated, draft county resolution to be considered Monday does not call for such an order on the local level.