Is Lee county ready for COVID-19?

For whatever reason, our country and our county failed to take seriously the situation we were witnessing in China this past January. Now it’s time for people to ask questions as coronavirus spreads.

Originally published by Women for a Better Lee

We want to know 

So here we are.  Unprepared.  Scared.  Vulnerable.  We take precautions.  We practice social distancing.  We attend to our families first, then our neighbors, friends and colleagues. 

Now is the moment for us to take a deep breath and assess how we move forward to ensure the health and well-being of those around us. Let’s use this time to become more informed, more caring, even more vocal in holding our county government accountable. 

For whatever reason, our country and our county failed to take seriously the situation we were witnessing in China this past January.

As we work through this crisis together, we citizens of Lee County are looking to our county commissioners for leadership.  So we are searching for answers to the following:

  • Does our county have a plan to help staff at senior centers deal with clients at risk of this raging infection?
  • Is our county working with human services nonprofits to strategize on addressing common problems? For example, what is happening with children who usually attend early learning centers and now may have been sent home?
  • Does our county have a plan to let non-essential county workers work from home rather than expose themselves and others to community spread and still maintain necessary government services?
  • Is our county’s heavy dependence on its website adequate in communicating new information to constituents about staying safe during this pandemic?  With libraries closed, how will those without internet access get this information?
  • How is our county working with its municipalities to develop a unified plan to protect Lee County citizens?
  • Is our county assessing the state of our health care system and coordinating with Lee Health to help residents understand where to go for testing should they think they are infected?
  • How will this impact our local budget and will there be a need for increased taxes?  If not, which program services are going to be on the chopping block?
  • Does the county have a plan to keep our public and private water supplies safe while at the same time protecting wastewater treatment staff from the virus being spread via wastewater?
  • And last but certainly not least: how is the BoCC going to ensure transparency since citizens will be unable to attend commission meetings to offer input and advocacy?

We do not know the answers to these questions, which are but a fraction of those concerning us.  Again, in this time of crisis, we are looking to our county commissioners for leadership.  We encourage them to be open and transparent, and to provide information that will instill in us the trust and confidence that is today so sadly lacking.

We urge you to contact our county commissioners if you wish to personally ask them these questions.  And please tell us if you get answers!  We want to know.  Contact information is below:

John Manning
Cecil Pendergrass
Ray Sandelli
Brian Hamman, Chairman
Frank Mann, Vice Chairman

Women For a Better Lee is a movement led by women and comprised of Lee County voters who seek good governance, smartly-planned growth and a more livable community. To get on their mailing list, email:;  Facebook:

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