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Politics / Issues

St. Petersburg City Council Looking At Renewing In-Person Meetings

St Petesburg City Council members
City of St Petersburg Flickr
St Petersburg City Council members discussed precautions to take to prevent the spread of the coronavirus when they resume their public meetings.

The St. Petersburg City Council is looking at what safety protocols they will use when they resume public meetings at City Hall.

Since mid-April, meetings have been held virtually due to the coronavirus,  but the council is looking to re-start in-person meetings as early as August.

At Thursday's meeting, some members talked about only wearing masks when there was no discussion happening, due to the discomfort of wearing one for the duration of an eight-hour meeting.

But council member Amy Foster said she didn't understand the need to take off a mask to speak, noting that "doctors speak to each other with masks on all the time."

Foster also said only wearing a mask part of the time would set the wrong example in the face of a citywide mask ordinance.

"I find it hypocritical for us to tell other people what to do in their business and not practice that on our own," she said.

Council members also discussed temperature checks and using a movable plexiglass partition to guard against the airborne spread of the coronavirus.

No action was taken to schedule in-person public meetings. The city council's next meeting is scheduled for Thursday, July 16. The agenda includes a resolution to set meeting dates for public input on the budget.  The first meeting has been scheduled for September 3, either virtually or at City Hall.