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Virus-related updates on island activities, more

By Staff | Jun 16, 2020

(Editor’s note: To have an item or announcement added to the list, call 239-472-1587 or email Editor Tiffany Repecki at “mailto:trepecki@breezenewspapers.com”>trepecki@breezenewspapers.com.)

In light of COVID-19, the following announcements have been reported on Sanibel and Captiva to date:

BAT YAM TEMPLE OF THE ISLANDS

The Bat Yam Temple of the Islands reported that Shabbat Torah Commentaries with Rabbi Stephen Lewis Fuchs are held on Fridays at 7 p.m. on the “Bat Yam Temple of the Islands” Facebook page and at www.batyam.org. In addition, Virtual Coffee with Fuchs will be held at 11 a.m. June 24, July 15 and Aug. 12. Food and paper drive drop-offs are on Thursdays between 11 a.m. and 1 p.m. at the Sanibel Congregational United Church of Christ, at 2050 Periwinkle Way, Sanibel.

BIG ARTS

BIG ARTS has suspended all programming and activities until further notice, including workshops, rentals, band and chorus rehearsals and concerts, gallery exhibits and receptions. In addition, the building will be closed to all public traffic. BIG ARTS will continue to monitor developments and will implement and communicate any additional changes.

CAPTIVA MEMORIAL LIBRARY

In light of COVID-19, the Captiva Memorial Library remains closed to the public.

Adjustments and reminders regarding services include:

– Patrons can place new holds on library materials for pickup. Once filled, the requested items will be available for pickup through the curbside service.

– Curbside pickup available on Thursday and Saturday from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.

– The book return site is open for patrons to drop off checked-out materials. No fines will be assessed for items overdue because of library closures.

– Due dates have been extended due to the closures.

– The library is unable to accept donations at this time.

For contact-less curbside pickup, drive to the main entrance of the library, stay in the vehicle and call the telephone number provided on a sign at the location. The staff member who answers will ask for the library card number, check out the materials and bring them to the designated spot. Patrons can then pick up their materials and depart with their items.

Further announcements on library operations will be forthcoming.

There is no set date at this time for when libraries will reopen.

On Monday through Saturday from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m., additional questions can be directed to 239-479-4636, text 239-204-5321, chat at leelibrary.net or email askalibrarian@leegov.com.

For additional Lee County updates, visit www.leegov.com/covid-19.

CHAVURAT SHALOM

Chavurat Shalom (Fellowship of Peace) welcomes all from Sanibel and Fort Myers who seek to enrich their Jewish lives. Friday Shabbat services led by members are held at 6 p.m., with Saturday Jewish current events taking place at 10 a.m. Talks by members on topics of interest occur on Thursday at 11 a.m. To participate via Zoom, contact ChavuratShalom@gmail.com.

COMMUNITY HOUSING AND RESOURCES

The Community Housing and Resources offices are closed, but staff members are working from home and will continue to maintain CHR operations. Staff can be reached at 239-472-1189, info@sanibelchr.org or www.sanibelchr.org.

CLINIC FOR THE REHABILITATION OF WILDLIFE

The Clinic for the Rehabilitation of Wildlife has reopened its AWC Visitor Education Center after being closed for two months amid the COVID-19 pandemic.

New safety measures include scheduled cleaning and sanitizing of commonly used areas and surfaces; youth exhibits have been modified to allow for social distancing and for surfaces to be easily cleaned and sanitized. A plexiglass safety barrier has been installed at the check-in desk between staff and visitors; only credit/debit card payments will be accepted. Hand sanitizer stations have been placed throughout the center with signs reminding visitors to sanitize their hands often. Staff and visitors are required to wear face masks.

For the time being, live presentations and Wildlife Walk guided hospital tours will not be offered.

FIRST CHURCH OF CHRIST, SCIENTIST

The First Church of Christ, Scientist has suspended all services and events until further notice. In addition, the church’s Reading Room is closed.

F.I.S.H. OF SANIBEL-CAPTIVA

F.I.S.H. of Sanibel-Captiva reported that while there may be changes made to aspects of its operations, it plans to continue running its largest programs, uninterrupted. These programs include:

– Food pantry

– Meals-by-F.I.S.H. meal delivery

– Food backpacks for children

– Emergency financial assistance

For more information, contact 239-472-0404 or visit www.fishofsancap.org.

INDEPENDENCE DAY PARADE

The Annual Sanibel-Captiva Independence Day Parade has been canceled this year. The Friends of Don, the volunteer group that organizes it, reported that the committee decided to cancel the event due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

J.N. ‘DING’ DARLING NATIONAL WILDLIFE REFUGE/TARPON BAY EXPLORERS

The J.N. “Ding” Darling National Wildlife Refuge continues to evaluate the risk of its operations to visitors, staff and the local community. In keeping with recent state and city directives, as well as national guidelines, staff are developing a phased plan to reopen the facilities as they meet staffing, distancing and personal protective equipment requirements.

Tarpon Bay Explorers has partially resumed its operation by providing rentals for kayaks, canoes, standup paddleboards, bicycles and pontoons, along with taking bookings for some tours and cruises. Also, its nature-themed gift shop is open and the ramp is open for the public to use to launch private kayaks or small boats.

In addition, refuge officials reported the following:

– Wildlife Drive and its trails remain open and admission-free from 7 a.m. to 7:30 p.m.

– Bailey Tract trails remain open, although its Tarpon Bay Road parking lot is closed to vehicles.

– Visitor & Education Center remains closed until further notice.

– Refuge offices will remain closed to the public until further notice. For information, contact 239-472-1100 ext. 237 orToni_Westland@fws.gov.

– “Ding” Darling Wildlife Society-Friends of the Refuge offices will remain closed until further notice. For information, contact 239-472-1100 ext. 232 or director@dingdarlingsociety.org.

For more information, visit dingdarlingsociety.org/articles/covid-19.

NOAH’S ARK

The Noah’s Ark thrift store is closed until further notice.

PROGRESSIVE CLUB OF THE ISLANDS

The Progressive Club of the Islands has suspended all public events, like membership meetings and happy hours, due to the coronavirus pandemic until further notice.

SANIBEL-CAPTIVA CONSERVATION FOUNDATION

The Sanibel-Captiva Conservation Foundation reported that to support the health and safety of the community, programming and events are canceled until further notice. The SCCF’s public closures include the Nature Center and all offices. Closures do not include the over eight miles of nature trails the SCCF offers across the island.

On June 9, the Bailey Homestead Preserve and Native Landscapes & Garden Center reopened on Tuesdays and Thursdays from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. Visitors are asked to bring a face covering or mask to use when physical distancing cannot be achieved. They are also asked to wear a face covering or mask when interacting with staff. Staff will be outfitted in masks when interacting with visitors and will take extra sanitation measures in restrooms and “high touch” areas.

The SCCF will continue to monitor public health risks and will provide updates on its ongoing work. Stay tuned to updates and announcements from the SCCF through its Facebook, Instagram and Twitter accounts or visit online at sccf.org. For questions or more information, email sccf@sccf.org.

SANIBEL BICYCLE CLUB

The Sanibel Bicycle Club announced the cancellation of club-sponsored weekly and off-island rides through the end of August. Members are encouraged to continue riding, but riding solo.

SANIBEL COMMUNITY CHURCH

Sanibel Community Church has began gathering for public worship again. Two identical services are held on Sundays at 9 a.m. and 11 a.m. in the Main Sanctuary of the church.

In addition, be aware of the following:

– The Carpenter’s Cafe and Bookstore, as well as Courtyard Fellowship, is not open.

– The Children’s Ministry and Sunday School classes are still closed.

SANIBEL CONGREGATIONAL UNITED CHURCH OF CHRIST

Sanibel Congregational United Church of Christ reported that its church council, in accord with its pastoral team, has decided to cancel all committee meetings and other church sponsored events, including Bible study, yoga and theological studies. Worship services have been suspended.

In addition, the church’s preschool is closed for the remainder of the year. It is currently accepting applications for August.

For more information, visit www.sanibelucc.org.

SANIBEL FLYFISHERS

Due to COVID-19, the Sanibel FlyFishers has canceled all in-person club activities for the season. It hopes to resume regular meeting and activities in October, as conditions allow.

For more information, email sanibelff@gmail.com or write to Sanibel FlyFishers, P.O. Box 595, Sanibel, FL 33957-0595. To subscribe to the club’s mailing list, visit tinyletter.com/sanibelff.

The Sanibel FlyFishers can be found on multiple social media platforms, including on Facebook at “Sanibel Island FlyFishers,” on Twitter at “@SanibelFF” and on Instagram at “SanibelFF.”

SANIBEL HISTORICAL MUSEUM AND VILLAGE

The Sanibel Historical Museum and Village will remain closed until Oct. 20, the regularly scheduled opening date for the 2020-21 season. On May 28, the board made the decision to remain closed.

Email messages to info@sanibelmuseum.org for the quickest response. Alternatively, you can leave a message at 239-472-4648; messages will be returned as quickly as possible. People may also call Executive Director Emilie Alfino on her personal cell phone at 239-357-1644 if necessary.

For updates and more information, visit www.sanibelmuseum.org.

SANIBEL RECREATION CENTER/YOUTH PROGRAM

On June 15, the Sanibel Recreation Center reopened to the public in accordance with phase one of the city’s plan. Some returning amenities include the pool for lap swimming, tennis courts and weight room; there will be no workout classes or personal training, no “open swim” at the pool, and such. The pool slide, locker rooms, showers and other areas will remain closed. For more information or to make reservations to use the amenities, visit www.mysanibel.com.

ST. MICHAEL & ALL ANGELS EPISCOPAL CHURCH

St. Michael and All Angels Episcopal Church has suspended worship services, meetings and events until further notice. Meanwhile, morning prayer will be live-streamed on Sundays at 10:30 a.m.

THE COMMUNITY HOUSE

The Community House has reopened to offer summer youth programs. In addition, the office is now open from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m.; call ahead appointments are encouraged at 239-472-2155. For further information and updates, visit www.sanibelcommunityhouse.net.

TRASH & TREASURES SALE

Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the Island Seniors has canceled its annual Trash & Treasures Sale fundraiser that was scheduled for November. Consequently, it will not accept donations this year.

The Island Seniors would like to extend a big thank you to the island community for the prior years’ support and participation. It is looking forward to 2021.