The Vancouver City Council has joined the Clark County Council in returning to online public meetings as COVID-19 cases continue to skyrocket in the region.
The change will take effect at its next meeting on Monday.
“Meetings will continue to be held remotely until local case numbers move in a positive direction,” the council said in a press release on Tuesday.
Fueled by the highly contagious delta variant, Clark County’s COVID-19 activity rose to the highest level on record last week with 1,602 new cases since Aug. 26, the most ever reported in a seven-day period, according to Clark County Public Health.
The county’s COVID-19 activity rate, which was as low as 50.1 cases per 100,000 residents over 14 days in late July, reached 523 cases per 100,000 as of Sept. 2.
The public may view city council workshops and meetings live at www.cvtv.org, www.facebook.com/VancouverUS, or by watching Clark/Vancouver Television on Comcast cable channels 23/323.
A phone-in option will also be available for each meeting. The phone number and access code for each meeting will be included on the meeting agenda posted on the city’s website in advance of the meetings at www.cityofvancouver.us/CityCouncilAgendas.
Additional details regarding meeting protocols will also be included with each meeting agenda, which are typically published on the city’s website the Wednesday prior to each Monday meeting.
Vancouver City Council will continue to accept remote public testimony during remote meetings. Members of the public may register to testify on the city’s website at: www.cityofvancouver.us/CouncilMeetingTestimony or by calling 360-487-8600. Registration is open until noon the day of each council meeting.
Vancouver is not the first public entity to return to virtual meetings. Citing increasing COVID-19 cases, the Clark County Council announced late last month that it would keep its meetings virtual through September and then reassess at the end of the month to determine whether to remain remote or return to in-person meetings.
The county, which had canceled all meetings for several weeks, said council meetings will resume on Monday, with a council time session Sept. 15. Council meeting agendas, participation instructions and a public comment form are on the county’s website at https://clark.wa.gov/councilors/clark-county-council-meetings.
Up-to-date COVID-19 information including infection data and how to get vaccinated is available on the county’s website at https://clark.wa.gov/public-health/novel-coronavirus.