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Supervisors open meetings to public

The Prince Edward County Board of Supervisors took a wait-and-see approach to lifting the COVID-19 emergency authorization during its Tuesday, July 15, meeting.

Concerned about having to operate remotely again in the future, the board agreed to a staff recommendation to not fully rescind the order.

“With the new Delta variant out, I have just a slight concern,” County Administrator Doug Stanley told the board. “We’ve seen cases of people who have been vaccinated getting sick.”

He said a couple supervisors getting sick combined with a couple others being exposed could mean the board would be unable to reach a quorum without maintaining the option for board members to attend remotely.

The board did vote unanimously to reopen board meetings to the public.

“By allowing the meetings to be attended in-person we can allow for public attendance, but still keep in place the ability of board members to attend remotely if needed if they are sick/in quarantine,” a memo from Stanley to the supervisors said.

Stanley said the additional time will also give the county a chance to evaluate the remote meeting provisions put into place when the meetings were closed to the public such as telephone participation, meetings by Zoom and streaming over the county’s YouTube channel.

“Staff feels that we will want to continue to broadcast the meetings on the YouTube channel and may want to continue telephone participation and/or Zoom participation to allow for greater input,” the memo said.

If the board continues to take no action, the emergency ordinance will automatically expire Dec. 31 unless renewed.

The Farmville Town Council recently rescinded its COVID-19 ordinance earlier this month.