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Florida surgeon general addresses chamber committee

By CHAMBER OF COMMERCE - | Jan 5, 2021

PHOTO PROVIDED Florida Surgeon General Scott Rivkees

On the cusp of Florida’s COVID-19 vaccination program, Florida Surgeon General Scott Rivkees addressed a virtual meeting of the Sanibel & Captiva Island Chamber of Commerce’s SanCap Safe Committee on Nov. 18.

He, along with Lee Health System Director of Government Relations Michael Nachef, emphasized the importance of maintaining exposure mitigation measures during the coming weeks and months as vaccines become more widely available.

“I also want to thank the community of Sanibel and Captiva and you all for the great work you have done,” Nachef said. “You have fostered individual responsibility in a way and you help people understand their role in protecting themselves and their families — not just with masking and distancing and following CDC guidelines. You’ve really taken it upon yourselves to do a great job in continued education and even incentivizing your neighbors with things like the mayor’s mask campaign.”

The chamber rolled out its Safe Business Restart Committee and SanCap Safe initiative in May. The 15-member committee of representatives from the chamber, Committee of the Islands, businesses and non-profits, safety and health agencies, and Sanibel City Council acts as a clearinghouse of COVID information and resources. It asked businesses to take the “We Are SanCap Safe” virtual pledge and display a decal alerting the public that they comply with the initiative’s guidelines. To date, nearly 150 businesses have taken the pledge.

“With a virus that has respiratory transmission, this is why wearing a mask is such an important mitigation measure,” Rivkees said. “Other thing too, this is a virus that likes crowds and likes close places.”

SanCap Safe targets practices that discourage the spread of the virus.

“Even as we are seeing a light at the end of the tunnel, we actively urge all businesses to take the symbolic and practical step toward showing the public they stand behind the safety of residents and guests,” chamber President John Lai said.

“I want to remind everyone that during the next few weeks and months to keep their great safeguards in place,” Nachef said.

“You’re doing a great job down there,” Rivkees told the committee. “Continue to focus on mitigation measures. We are on the path forward to getting back to normal.”

The following businesses have taken the SanCap Safe pledge: Adventures in Paradise, AIP Outfitters, American Realty of Captiva, B Unique Boutique, Bailey-Matthews National Shell Museum, Bailey’s General Store, Beach Buddy Tours, Beach Daisy, Beach Floor & Décor, Beachview Cottages, Benchmark, BIG ARTS, Billy’s Bike Shop, Billy’s Rentals, Bleu Rendez-Vous French Bistro, Blue Giraffe, Bubble Room, Captain Brian on the Water, Captiva Cottages, Captiva Cruises, Captiva Island Inn, Casa Ybel, Castaway Cottages, Charitable Foundation of the Islands, Cheeburger Cheeburger, Chico’s of Sanibel, Cielo, Congress Jewelers, Cottages-to-Castles, CROW, Crow’s Nest, Dairy Queen, Dante’s Restaurant, Decorating Den, J.N. “Ding” Darling National Wildlife Refuge, Doc Ford’s, Dream Vacation Rentals, Dunes Golf and Tennis, Finnimore’s, F.I.S.H. of Sanibel-Captiva, Florida Wedding Vows, Footloose, George & Wendy’s, Gramma Dot’s, Green Flash, Grog Shop Sanibel, Gulf Breeze Cottages, Gulf Island Accounting & Tax, H2O Outfitters, Heidrick & Co., Her Sports Closet, Hey Mon Sanibel, Hilton Grand Vacations, Huxter’s, Huxter’s Liquor, Island Inn, Island Pursuit, Island Rental Services, Island Therapy Center, Island Time Cruise, Island Vacations of Sanibel & Captiva, Jerry’s Grocery, Jerry’s Restaurant, Joey’s Custard, Key Lime Bistro, Kingfisher Vacations, Latte Da, Lighthouse Restaurant, Lighthouse Café, Love Boat Ice Cream, Matzaluna, Mitchell’s Sandcastles, New Wave Eco Charters, Normandie, Ocean’s Reach, Offshore Sailing School, Old Captiva House, Palm View Inn, Paper Fig Kitchen, Pelican’s Roost Condominiums, Pink Shell, Premiere Properties, Priscilla’s of Sanibel, Rapid Response Team, RC Otter’s, Regions Bank, RE/MAX of the Islands, Royal Shell Vacations, R.S. Walsh, SanCap Gateway Realty, Sanibel-Captiva Rotary Club, Sanibel Captiva Trust Company, Sandalfoot Condos, Sanibel Arms West, Sanibel-Captiva Conservation Foundation, Sanibel Captiva Vacation Rentals, Sanibel Carts, Sanibel Community House, Sanibel Custom Charters, Sanibel Day Spa, Sanibel Deli, Sanibel Double D Taxi, Sanibel Grill, Sanibel Harbour Marriott, Sanibel Holiday, Sanibel Inn, Sanibel Moorings Resort, Sanibel Historical Museum and Village, Sanibel Public Library, Sanibel Rental Service, Sanibel Siesta on the Beach, Sanibel Skin Spa, Sanibel-Captiva Community Bank, Sanibel Spirits, Savoury Spoon, Sea Shells of Sanibel, Seaside Inn, Select Vacation Properties, Shalimar, She Sells Sea Shells, Simmons Law Firm, Song of the Sea, South Seas Island Resort, Suncatcher’s Dream, Sundial Beach Resort, Sunny Island Rentals, Sunset Beach, Tarpon Bay Explorers, The Cottages of Sanibel, The Dunes Golf & Tennis Club, The Pecking Order, Thistle Lodge, Timbers, Tuttles Seahorse Shell Shop, ‘Tween Waters Island Resort & Spa, U.S. Postal Service- Captiva, VIP Realty, VIP Vacation Rentals, West Wind Inn, Whims on Periwinkle and YOLO Watersports.

To learn more about joining the SanCap Safe initiative, contact chamber Member Services Manager Ashley Pignato at 239-472-8255 or Ashley@sanibel-captiva.org.