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Covid-19 Resources for Recovery newsletter
Lee County Visitor & Convention Bureau Logo

The Lee County Visitor & Convention Bureau’s (VCB) weekly newsletter is your resource for news and best practices to help you navigate COVID-19 in the days and weeks ahead.

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Lee County is here to help

Lee Commissioners approve next round of LeeCARES assistance programs

The Lee Board of County Commissioners on Tuesday authorized the next round of LeeCARES programs to assist individuals, families and businesses impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic.

The Board approved plans to:

  • Launch Round 2 of LeeCares Assistance for individuals and families providing for broader eligibility and increased award amounts up to $3,000 per household. Grant recipients from earlier rounds of assistance are also eligible for Round 2 funding. Round 1 closes to applications on Aug. 7 and Round 2 opens Aug. 17.
  • Enhance the Business Rehire program by increasing grant sizes by up to $8,000 awarded to each full-time equivalent rehire according to wages paid.
  • Double the maximum scholarship amount allowed for each child that qualifies for childcare expenses to $2,500 in order to extend the program through the remainder of calendar year 2020.
  • Distribute Personal Protective Equipment to county residents in partnership with the municipalities.
  • Enhance CARES Act funding by $1.8 million for the existing Rapid Re-housing Program currently administered by Lee County’s Department of Human & Veteran Services; this includes adding additional partnering agencies to increase program capacity.

The LeeCARES programs are funded through the federal Coronavirus Relief Fund through the Coronavirus Aid, Relief and Economic Security Act (CARES). The funding includes:

  • $45 million to Human Services programs including the Individual Assistance
  • $25 million to Business Relaunch and Rehire programs and PPE.
  • $23,950,000 for Public Safety and Medial expenses, including contact tracing, EMS transport, quarantine housing, etc.
  • $20 million for Governmental COVID-19 direct expenses for Lee County and Constitutional Offices, including PPE, facility safety, public education and messaging, data collection, elections, telework, etc.
  • $20.5 million for general reserves for COVID-19 costs.

A dashboard that shows assistance statistics is available at

Visit for additional information about all available programs.

Application instructions also are available in Spanish by calling 239-533-2273 (or 239-LEE-CARES); applicants without internet access can also call the number. Hours are 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. weekdays.

Updates about the county’s response to coronavirus can be found at

Together we can

Lee Health and Lee County Team Up for ‘Together, We Can’

Lee Health and Lee County officials have joined forces to launch the “Together, We Can” campaign to encourage the community to continue practicing CDC guidelines.

The campaign also reminds everyone that, together, we can minimize the spread of COVID-19 and save lives. Be on the lookout for promotional videos, digital billboards, social media ads, and TV and radio spots that will run for the remainder of the summer.

United Way

United Way Houses offer application help for LeeCARES Individual Assistance

United Way of Lee, Hendry, Glades, and Okeechobee Counties is partnering with Lee County to offer application sites for Lee residents seeking help with rent, mortgage or utility payments through the LeeCARES Individual Assistance Program.

Documents needed to apply include:


  • photo ID for head of household
  • income documentation
  • proof of loss of income
  • lease or most recent mortgage statement
  • most recent utility bills (water and electric only)
Luminary Hotel & Co. Job Fair Aug. 6

TDC meeting Aug. 13

The Tourist Development Council (TDC) will meet Thursday, Aug. 13, in Room 118, Admin East Building, 2201 Second Street, Fort Myers. The agenda will be posted at and on Facebook: @LeeVCB.

July 19-25 STR Report for Lee County

Occupancy: 44.7%, down 31.3%
ADR (Average Daily Rate): $131.60, up 0.6%
RevPAR (Revenue Per Available Room): $58.83, down 30.9%

Walk-up COVID-19 testing

Walk-up testing sites available in August

The Florida Department of Health in Lee County, in partnership with Lee County Government will be providing free walk-up COVID-19 testing throughout Lee County during the month of August.

Testing is scheduled on Tuesdays and Thursdays, beginning at 9 a.m. and will continue, weather-permitting, until 1 p.m. Staff will have 300 tests available at each site for anyone 18 years of age or older. Children will be referred for testing to the Florida Department of Health in Lee County. There is no fee for the test, and no appointment or doctor’s order is necessary.

VCB hurricane preparedness resources
Hurricane preparation guide
Intro to hurricane season
Making a plan
Before the storm
Preparing your pets
After the storm
Emergency shelters
Generator safety
State order to close bars
Florida Recovery Phase 2 FAQs
Department of Health dashboard
FRLA COVID-19 resources
Florida Chamber of Commerce's COVID-19 Resource Center
Florida Small Business Development Council
VISIT FLORIDA's Small Business Toolkit
U.S. Travel's CARES Act Relief Resources
National Restaurant Association's CARES Act Guidance
Small Business Administration Relief Options
American Hotel & Lodging Association's CARES Act FAQs
Community kindness
Food truck grab 'n go

The Alliance for the Arts hosts food truck grab-and-go in August

The Alliance for the Arts will host a Food Truck Grab-and-Go event each Wednesday, now through Aug. 26.

The events take place from 5 to 7:30 p.m. at the Alliance for the Arts, 10091 McGregor Blvd. Food trucks rotate weekly.

The Aug. 5 event will feature Dave’s Bangin’ BBQ and Dawg Pound. Pre-order for pickup is available for most trucks. For a full schedule, visit Safety and social distancing precautions will be in place. 

Read more
Community kindnes

Jensen family donates $1 of each night's stay to "Ding" Darling

The Jensen family knows that one of the most important attractions on Sanibel is J.N. "Ding" Darling National Wildlife Refuge. 

That's why they donate $1 for every night's stay at their Twin Palm Cottages and Marina on Captiva Island to the "Ding" Darling Wildlife Society-Friends of the Refuge.

"It's important to support Ding Darling. It's one of the biggest draws to the island," said Jimmy Jensen, one of the three brothers who own and operate Jensen's. He gave credit to his brother Dave for starting the donor program.

Friends of the Refuge Executive Director Birgie Miller said the Jensen family has donated about $300 every month since 2009. 

"It means a great deal to receive these donations and it's a win-win," Miller said. "It helps us keep works at the refuge going strong."

Here is a look at how donations are put to use at J.N. "Ding" Darling National Wildlife Refuge.

Jensen's Resorts on Captiva
Best practices
CDC Interim Guidance for Businesses & Employers
CDC: Stop the spread of rumors
FRLA Seal of Commitment
FRLA preferred COVID-19 suppliers
AHLA Safe Stay Initiative
U.S. Travel Association's Travel Confidently Toolkit
Mask Up Cape Coral campaign
SanCap Safe
RSW Stay Safe
SanCap Safe
 RDA Our Home Sweet Home campaign
Women in Business: Career development & small business resources
4 p.m. Wednesday, Aug. 5
Guest speakers Janeth Castrejon of CareerSource Southwest Florida and Nadine Kramarz of the Fort Myers Regional Library will discuss solutions for the new norm related to job searching and career development. Topics include evolving to online interviews and meetings, and the free and varied resources both organizations provide for individuals and small businesses.

Webinar archive

Helpful links
Beach cams
Wildlife cams
Zoom backgrounds
Connect With Us
Like us on Facebook
Aug. 7 industry partner call
Suggestions, questions, feedback? Email us
COVID-19 Resources for Recovery Newsletter archives

Cover photo: San Carlos Bay - Bunche Beach Preserve, Fort Myers, Aug. 3, 2020,

Lee County Visitor & Convention Bureau
2201 2nd street, STE 600 Fort Myers, FL 33901
phone: (239) 338-3500 | toll free: (800) 237-6444


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