Board of County Commissioners approve return to in-person meetings, beginning Feb. 10
On Tuesday, Feb. 8, the Board of County Commissioners convened for a special meeting. The purpose of the meeting was to receive a public health update on the latest COVID-19 transmission levels in the community and in the workforce and discuss whether BOCC meetings should remain virtual or return to in person. The board voted unanimously to return to in-person meetings, beginning the next regular BOCC meeting, on Thursday, Feb. 10. Virtual participation is encouraged due to the current rate of COVID-19 infections.
“This decision was made in consultation with our public health officials,” said Chairman Ed Eilert. “We will continue to monitor the data and make decisions that encourage safety while allowing us to meet the needs of those we serve.”
The BOCC, along with other Johnson County boards and commissions, have been meeting virtually since Jan. 13, due to the high incidence rate related to the surge in Omicron cases. At the Jan. 13 meeting, the board passed a resolution to continue virtual board meetings through Feb. 17, with the caveat that should transmission levels improve, the resolution was subject to change. The resolution included all public meetings for county agencies, commissions, boards and other appointed bodies. Those are also now allowed to return to in person.
During the County Manager Penny Postoak Ferguson’s presentation, she offered support to returning to in-person meetings but encouraged continued safety precautions, such as physical distancing in the board room, limited seating and permitting staff members to continue to present virtually if they choose to do so.
Johnson County continues to closely monitor vaccination rates among residents, hospital capacity, along with the COVID-19 incidence rate and percent positivity. As of today, Johnson County has an incidence rate of 679 (on Jan. 11, it was 1,585) new cases per 100,000, and a percent positivity rate of 18.3% (on Jan. 11, it was 30.3%).