Lee County leaders communicate key info during coronavirus pandemic

Published: March 23, 2020 3:40 PM EDT
Updated: March 23, 2020 4:23 PM EDT

Communication is key during any crisis.

So we looked at how our local Southwest Florida leaders are keeping information flowing amid the coronavirus pandemic Monday. Every day, leaders across the county keep their distance by jumping on the phone to compare notes. And we were allowed to listen in one of those calls.

There is a daily virus conference call among the mayors and commissioners of Lee County. The mission is to share the latest intelligence, information and recommendations. It’s everything from encouraging social distancing on the water and in grocery stores, to enforcing CDC recommendations, to the prospect of sheltering in place.

Something else that was shared was Fort Myers Mayor Randy Henderson’s view from 1,000 feet over Cape Coral and the Sanibel bridges, as he surveyed Lee County from above over the weekend.

Henderson invited us along. And what we saw was empty beaches and quiet roads everywhere we looked.

And Henderson shared his video with the other leaders, so they could all see the effects of closing beaches and businesses.

“It is working. If there’s a silver lining in all this, many businesses are taking this very seriously, and they are self-regulating in accordance with what the CDC headlines for the governor’s orders,” Henderson said. “And what we’re doing as mayors and county commissioners, implementing the plan to keep everyone safe.”

Could a lockdown be next for Southwest Florida? The mayor doesn’t know but wants citizens to be ready.

“I think we need to prepare for that,” Henderson said. “I think the data, the intel, we’re learning is indicative of the time, and we’re going to have to do that.”

MORE: DOJ – Crisis Communications Quick Reference Guide