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Martins Ferry to stream meetings during surge

MARTINS FERRY — Martins Ferry City Council canceled its regular meeting on Wednesday and now is making plans for future meetings during the ongoing surge of COVID-19 in the region and nation.

Several hours before its meeting was to be held, council decided to cancel its regular meeting because some members were not available to attend, in addition to concerns surrounding the current surge of COVID-19, said Council President Kristine Davis.

Council had planned to start allowing only council members to enter the council chamber during meetings, with a video monitor and sound set up in the hallway for the public and media to use.

However, because of the recent increase in cases the city is making a new plan that involves streaming the meetings live via the Internet or possibly or online Zoom meetings for council members only.

“An exact date for going live isn’t known yet because of some issues with the website. Hopefully very soon. We could hold live meetings limited to the eight councilpersons and the clerk, or Zoom meetings and stream to the public,” Davis said.

“Otherwise we will have to continue the meetings as described earlier, with masks and social distancing in Council Chambers and the public limited to the landing area outside, also with masks and social distancing. This is the least ideal situation. Hopefully this can all be remedied by the next meeting.”

Council’s next regular meeting is set for 6 p.m. Dec. 2.

“My concern is being able to address city business in an efficient and timely manner without sacrificing the health and safety of the council, the administration, and any attendees. My best advice at this time for citizens is to communicate with your councilperson for any issues that can be addressed by council, and they will present the issue to the members and administration,” she said.

“This is a hard time for everyone. I’m an RN, and I don’t love wearing the masks, but I think we need to exercise as much caution as possible, to ensure the safety of each other and ourselves, by wearing masks, social distancing, and avoiding large gatherings. The vaccines are so close, and things will begin to turn around. Looking back, in the future, this will seem like a small price to pay to keep ourselves and those close to us safe.”

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