SC Staff Report
Sanibel Mayor Kevin Ruane issued a proclamation Tuesday, Sept. 1, extending the declared state of emergency to Sept. 8 due to the Coronavirus. The temporary prohibitions on alcohol on the beaches, increased parking fines and allowance for certain outdoor displays of merchandise have been extended to Nov. 30. These measures have been taken by the city to stop the spread of the virus.
Sanibel has a total of 42 cases since the first COVID-19 case was reported in March, according to a report released Thursday, Sept. 3, by the Florida Department of Health. That includes five cases in August and one in September. The total number of cases is 0.5 percent of the island’s population and 0.2 percent of the 18,645 accumulative cases in Lee County.
The temporary increase in the fine for illegal parking on Sanibel remains at $200 to prevent the overcrowding of Sanibel beach parking lots and around the areas of beach parking access points.
The prohibition on possession or consumption of any alcoholic beverages is in effect from 7 a.m. to 5 p.m. seven days per week at all city-operated beaches and any associated parks or picnic areas with paid public parking. That includes Bowman’s Beach, Blind Pass, Gulfside City Park (Algiers), Lighthouse Beach and Fishing Pier and Trost parking lot, as well as the northern end of Bailey Road and picnic areas at the Sanibel Boat Ramp.
Sanibel has been under a declared state of emergency since March 18, as a result of the pandemic. The maximum duration for a mayoral declaration is seven days, which means it must be updated weekly as long as the emergency conditions are present.