Health official says in person meetings again safe for commission

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Augusta, Ga (WJBF) – Since March of last year the commission parking spots at the Municipal Building have basically been space gone to waste city leaders have not been coming here for their meeting but next month that’s going to change for some meetings. 

 Augusta commissioners are ready to hang up on the zoom meeting as the way of conducting Augusta’s business. 

“Some city business I would say is not getting done the way it should be done, it’s time for us go back in chamber,” said Commissioner John Clarke.

Commissioners targeted May 4th as the date to return to meetings in person.   

In anticipation of that  Plexiglass partitions between commissioners are in place, and seating has been taped off for social distancing. 

District heath officials have reviewed the city’s plan for meeting again in person and is giving the city the green light as long as protocols are followed.  

“Distances are maintained the makings  and the various strategies are proposed there i think those strategies if they’re put in place will allow meetings to be held in a safe fashion,” said East Central Georgia District Health Director Doctor Stephen Goggans.  

“It’s time and I was really excited knowing that we can get back and start doing the people’s work in public,” said Commissioner Catherine Smith McKnight. 

But Doctor Goggans pointing out though COVID cases are well down from the peak in January the virus is still here, and case numbers have been ticking up, and only 15 percent of Richmond County residents are fully vaccinated. 

So only commission meetings will be in person, not the twice a month committee meetings.   

“And then we’ll come back for commission meetings I think we’re good they have they have the plexiglass we’re probably going to wear masks we’re going to limit the number of people coming into the chamber so I think we will be good,” said Mayor Pro-Tem Bobby Williams.  

 Now the advice from Doctor Goggans is is that commissioners reevaluate this in 60 days to see if they can begin holding committee meetings as well or if they need to go back meeting virtually.

In Augusta, George Eskola WJBF NewsChannel 6. 

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