LETTER TO THE EDITOR: Concerned With Lack of COVID Reporting

EDITOR’S NOTE: The Santiva Chronicle publishes opinions and letters on topics that are important to Sanibel and Captiva. They may be submitted via e-mail at news@santivachronicle.com. Views expressed are not necessarily those of the Santiva Chronicle.

I am concerned with the lack of reporting to the citizens of Sanibel on COVID-19 in our community. I’m not suggesting the violation of privacy rights but more robust disclosure.

People come to Sanibel, from all over raising the population from 6,000 off season to 5 times that in season. I think it is likely that the influx of people is bringing COVID-19 with them when they visit and may well turn Sanibel in to a COVID-19 hotspot. Millikin Universality defines a COVID-19 hotspot anywhere the number of cases equals 12% in a rolling 14-day period. A most recent report from Millikin already has Florida as a hotspot. I think the people of Florida and the city of Sanibel are entitled to know the following:

Number of tests given
Number of positive test
Number asymptomatic
Number admitted to hospital
Number in ICU
Number on ventilators
Number who have died
Number who have recovered
Number of cases by age group
Number of contact tracing indicating where the virus originated

If the state health officials have this information why are they not reporting it to the council and the people of Sanibel? I need to know how much risk I’m taking on the Island and I can’t make that assessment on one piece of information. The lives of my wife, friends and neighbors are at stake. I urge you to write or call our state senators, state representatives and the members of city council of Sanibel and demand they give us all the information.

Dan Perkins
Sanibel Resident

Comments (6)

  1. I fully agree with the subject of Dan Perkins’ letter. We should have far more information/data on Covid in Sanibel. Just knowing how many cases since March really doesn’t say much. Can our local leaders obtain more data for us. Is the state restricting this and, if so, why?

  2. I totally agree with Dan Perkins, the Sanibel residents deserve to know this information!
    Shari LaFrance

  3. We completely agree with Dan Perkin’s letter. One number that keeps rising each week doesn’t tell us very much. The residents of Sanibel deserve to know what the situation on our island really is.

  4. We have been wondering About those 62 people who have been identified as having COVID-19. Dan Perkins has identified the information that would be valuable to all residents of Sanibel who are interested in keeping themselves and their family safe. Why can’t the city of Sanibel publish that information? City Council has the obligation to pursue that information and let the citizens of Sanibel know what the find. Geoffrey Miss

  5. Much of the information Mr. Perkins is requesting is protected by HIPAA laws. The hospitals and DOH aren’t allowed to give out info such as # of ventilators, deaths, ICU other than in very broad terms. I agree that they could be a bit more specific. I would like to see them show how many have recovered. As it stands a total of 62 people on Sanibel have tested positive for COVID. Hardly a hot spot. Most of them are recovered. Having said that, it is important to note that these stats are recorded based on home zip code – so snowbirds on the island who do not have 33957 as their primary residence would not be counted in that total even if they test positive. Sanibel has done a great job as has Captiva (and with all their visitors) so i feel very safe here and do not feel that I am in danger as i might be off island. I think we will see more cases as the snowbirds from the Midwest, which are now the hot spot for outbreaks, return or visit. The best thing you can do is WEAR A MASK, WASH YOUR HANDS A LOT, CARRY HAND SANITIZER, SOCIALLY DISTANCE WHEN AROUND FOLKS and if you are “at risk” MINIMIZE CONTACT. Nothing in life is a “guarantee” but do not let this virus control your life and rob you of what time you have here – be safe, be sensible and be thankful!

    • I agree, Sanibel City Council has done an excellent job so far and a large majority of Sanibel residents have been sensible. We feel safe here – no complaints.

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