A representative of Lee County Human & Veteran Services will offer monthly outreach services to veterans and their families at the Brotherhood of Heroes Resource Center & Museum, 4522 Del Prado Boulevard South, Cape Coral.
The outreach services will be available to veterans by appointment only from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. on the third Wednesday of every month starting Jan. 19. Services will be available to assist veterans, their families and their survivors make an application to the Veterans Administration for assistance.
To make an appointment, call 239-533-8381.
The Lee County Department of Human & Veteran Services serves as a hub for government, private and nonprofit resources designated to aid individuals and families. Specific program areas are: Family Self-Sufficiency, Housing Services, Neighborhood Building, Contract Management, and Veteran Services. For more information, call 239-533-7930 or visit www.leegov.com/dhs.
2210 Widman Way, Fort Myers, accepting items 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. Monday through Friday.
Severe Weather Outreach Teams are mobilized to specific locations when inland temperatures are projected to drop to 40 degrees or lower for an extended period of time. Teams include Human and Veteran Services staff and members of the HOT Team (Housing, Outreach and Treatment), including Law Enforcement and Centerstone Behavioral Health. Teams provide cold-weather items, coffee and access to transportation to enter into one of the participating shelters.
When activated, the Department of Human & Veteran Services’ coordinated entry phone line will be updated with a cold-weather announcement that promotes outreach locations, transportation assistance, sheltering and supplies. The number is 239-533-7996.
The county has identified several designated outreach locations on or near LeeTran routes where volunteers and staff will distribute blankets, hand-warmers, socks, hot coffee and a one-way LeeTran pass if a person experiencing homelessness accepts a sheltering offer.
The Florida Department of Health in Lee County announced that its COVID-19 testing sites will provide tests only by appointment now.
To meet the soaring demand for COVID-19 tests, both of Lee County’s testing sites will now only accept appointments. No walk-ins will be tested.
The health department hopes its change will cut down on long wait times.
Hours for the COVID-19 testing site at CenturyLink Sports complex are 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. Monday through Saturday. The testing site at FDOH-Lee along Michigan Avenue will operate its appointment-only operations from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. Monday through Friday.
To book an appointment at either COVID-19 testing site, go to Nomi Health’s website, nomihealth.com/fl.
Lee Health is offering free telehealth visits for community members to utilize telehealth services from the comfort of their homes.
Once again, Lee Health is making this service free due to the recent Omicron surge in COVID-19 cases throughout Southwest Florida.
This option allows anyone with non-life-threatening COVID-19 symptoms to avoid long COVID-19 testing lines, Lee Convenient Care locations and the emergency department. Lee Health emergency departments are not designated COVID-19 testing locations.
The normal cost of a visit is $49.
Lee TeleHealth is an on-demand medical service that connects patients directly with a physician or advanced provider and is available 24/7. All you need to use Lee TeleHealth is a smartphone, tablet or a computer with a webcam.
Holiday cooking and safety reminders from State Farm
Each year, hundreds of homes are damaged by fires, and the risk increases dramatically during the holidays. As families and friends gather this time of year, Cape Coral State Farm Agents Mike and Dawn Sullivan offer important tips to help keep your loved ones safer throughout the holiday season.
“Cooking is the top cause of home fires, especially around the holidays,” said Dawn Sullivan. “About one in three house fires starts in the kitchen, and typically they start because of unattended cooking.”
The average State Farm cooking/grease fire claim in the U.S. was more than $48,000 in 2018. On Thanksgiving and Christmas Day, fire claims nearly double, according to State Farm® data. The State Farm agents offer some simple tips and a Recipe4Safety card that homeowners can download and hang in their kitchens.
“Don’t let cooking fires ruin your celebration,” said Mike Sullivan. “Cooking is such a big part of family traditions and the holidays, so it’s important to be aware of how easily a fire can start. There are many ways you can keep the kitchen safe so everyone, including children, can participate.”
The Sullivans offer these tips to reduce the risk of a holiday kitchen fire:
Use timers and remain in the kitchen while cooking. Whether you are frying, boiling or baking doesn’t matter, home cooks must always be present and alert.
If you feel sleepy or have consumed alcohol, don’t use the oven or stovetop.
Make sure the cooking area is clear of anything that can catch fire, like oven mitts, wooden cooking utensils, food packaging, towels or curtains.
Always make sure you have working smoke detectors, which should be at least 10 feet from the stove.
Oil is a staple in the kitchen and frying is the most frequent culprit of stove fires. If you see oil smoking or if it smells, turn the burner off and remove the pan, as these are signs that the oil is too hot. Oil should be heated slowly, and food gently placed in the pan to avoid spattering. Have the matching lid for the pan nearby so you can cover it in case of fire. Remember that oil and water do not mix. Never use water to put out a grease fire. For an oven fire, turn off the heat and keep the door closed. Keep a cooking or grease fire-approved fire extinguisher nearby. If the fire doesn’t go out or you don’t feel comfortable, get everyone out of the home and call 9-1-1 once you are outside.
“Many holiday fires involving a fryer start in the garage or on the patio,” said Mike Sullivan. “Frying a turkey, or any outdoor cooking, should be done on a flat level surface, and never on wooden structures like decks. Make sure the turkey is properly thawed and remember to shut off the fuel source/flame when adding the turkey to hot oil. This helps to prevent flare-ups, which can occur if oil spills over the rim. Never, never leave the fryer unattended.”
Fryers should be kept at least 10 feet away from buildings, trees and other objects. General cooking and fire safety also involves keeping a “kid-free zone” of at least 3 feet around any areas where hot food or drink is prepared or carried.
Wishing you a healthy, happy, SAFE holiday season, the Sullivan State Farm team is here to help, whether you’re currently covered or looking to determine the best insurance options for your unique circumstances. Call the Sullivan State Farm Agency at 239-541-3276 or visit the agents’ websites: mikesullivan1.com or dawnsullivan.net.
Most Lee County administrative operations will be closed Thursday, Nov. 25, and Friday, Nov. 26, in observance of the Thanksgiving holiday.
Other schedules will be adjusted. The adjustments include:
Thursday, Nov. 25: All county facilities are closed and no garbage, yard waste or recycling will be collected. Collections will be delayed by one day for the remainder of the week.
Friday, Nov. 26: Thursday collections will be picked up. The Waste-to-Energy Facility in Buckingham will be open from 6:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. to accept waste. All other Solid Waste facilities will be closed.
Saturday, Nov. 27: Friday collections will be picked up. The Buckingham facility will be open from 6:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. to accept waste. All other Solid Waste facilities will be closed.
Parks & Recreation
Thursday, Nov. 25, Friday, Nov. 26, and through the holiday weekend: Beaches, boat ramps, parks and preserves will be open.
Administration offices, pools and recreation centers are closed Thursday, Nov. 25, and Friday, Nov. 26. Recreation centers and pools resume normal operating hours Saturday, Nov. 27. Administration offices resume normal operating hours Monday, Nov. 29.
Thursday, Nov. 25: No bus, trolley or Passport service.
Friday, Nov. 26: Normal service resumes.
Thursday, Nov. 25, and Friday, Nov. 26: All libraries will be closed. The online library is available at www.leegov.com/library.
Saturday, Nov. 27: Normal library hours resume.
Domestic Animal Services
Thursday, Nov. 25, and Friday, Nov. 26: The shelter, 5600 Banner Drive in south Fort Myers, will be closed.
Saturday, Nov. 27: The Lost & Found Pet Center will reopen for regular hours at 8 a.m. The adoption center will open at 10:30 a.m.
The Call Center and the drive-thru window at 7391 College Parkway are closed Thursday, Nov. 25, and Friday, Nov. 26, and will reopen Monday, Nov. 29.
A drop-box is on-site at the front door and another accessible via the drive-thru for payments by check.
A drop-box is also available at the Lee County Community Development/Public Works Center located at 1500 Monroe Street, Fort Myers (near the Eastern entrance on Monroe Street).