062420_MNS_Sandy_council_006 Allen Johnson with others

Sandy Springs TSPLOST Program Manager Allen Johnson, standing, gives a presentation on the city’s Hammond Drive widening project design concept at the Sandy Springs City Council’s June 16 work session.

The city of Sandy Springs is returning to its practice of online-only meetings starting in December, citing a rise in COVID-19 cases.

The city is also cancelling all planning commission and board of appeals meetings as of Dec. 3, until in-person meetings resume.

According to the Georgia Department of Public Health’s website, the 14-day average of the number of confirmed COVID-19 cases in Fulton per 100,000 residents has jumped from 83 on Oct. 1 to 255 on Nov. 18.

“We must put the health and safety of our community members first,” Sandy Springs Mayor Rusty Paul said in a news release.

“At this time when cases are increasing, we want to encourage everyone to follow the advice of health officials: wear a mask, keep a distance from those not in your household, and wash your hands frequently.”

In March, when the pandemic started, the city shifted to virtual-only council meetings through Zoom and Facebook Live and has continued to live-stream them even when hosting in-person meetings, for those who wished to watch from home or elsewhere due to fears of catching the virus.

In June, after Gov. Brian Kemp amended his executive order to allow gatherings of 50 or less individuals as long as they were socially distanced, the council returned to hosting in-person meetings. But the following month, after a July 4 weekend-related increase in coronavirus cases, the city decided to return to online-only meetings.

However, in October, following a decrease in cases, the city resumed in-person meetings, but via a hybrid approach, with the first meeting of each month held virtually and the second one in person. But the recent rise in cases prompted Sandy Springs to go back to virtual-only meetings.

Individuals wanting to view the meetings online can do so by visiting https://bit.ly/2J5wbhS and then clicking on the link for that particular meeting.

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