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Virus-related updates on island activities, more

By Staff | Sep 29, 2020

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

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


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. 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.


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

Adjustments and reminders regarding services include:

n 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.

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 (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 11 a.m. Talks by members on topics of interest occur on Thursdays at 11 a.m. To participate via Zoom, contact ChavuratShalom@gmail.com.


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


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 with paid admission from 7 a.m. to 7:30 p.m., except on Fridays.

– The Visitor & Education Center remains closed until further notice, but the outside bathrooms are open to the public from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. The water bottle filling station is also accessible.

– 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.


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 public closures include the Nature Center and SCCF offices, but not the miles of nature trails.

The Bailey Homestead Preserve and Native Landscapes & Garden Center is open 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 or when interacting with staff. Staff will be outfitted in masks and will take extra sanitation measures in restrooms and “high touch” areas.

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 Community Church is holding a contemporary service at 9 a.m. on Sundays, followed by a traditional service at 11 a.m. in the Main Sanctuary; “masks only” services are offered at 9 and 11 a.m. in Fellowship Hall. Watch services at sanibelchurch.com. 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 is offering a live-streamed service on Sundays at 10 a.m. For more information, visit www.sanibelucc.org or call 239-472-0497.


The Sanibel Recreation Center has reopened to the public in accordance with phase one of the city’s plan. Some returned amenities include the pool for lap swimming and the use of the tennis courts and weight room; there are no workout classes or personal training, and no “open swim” at the pool. The pool slide, locker rooms, showers and other areas still remain closed. To make reservations to use the amenities or for more information, call 239-472-0345 or visit www.mysanibel.com.


St. Michael and All Angels Episcopal Church is livestreaming its service on Sundays at 10:30 a.m., with the Rev. Alan Kelmereit. Other services, meetings and events are suspended until further notice. For more information call 239-472-2173 or visit www.saintmichaels-sanibel.org.