Columbus leaders practice social distancing with city council meeting via teleconference

Columbus leaders practice social distancing with city council meeting via teleconference

COLUMBUS, Ga. (WTVM) - Columbus city leaders are practicing social distancing guidelines following the declaration of local emergency issued Friday that prohibits gatherings of more than 10 people.

They met for Tuesday night’s city council meeting via teleconference.

Mayor Skip Henderson gave an update on the coronavirus pandemic as councilors asked questions, including if there is a sufficient number of COVID-19 test kits in Columbus. Henderson said they do have test kits, but not enough.

“My understanding is, from the Department of Public Health, they’ve got about three times the number they normally get coming in tomorrow," said Henderson. “I would submit to you though, as we get more kits, we’re going to see our numbers go up.”

Another city councilor posed a question about resources for first responders and hospitals.

“Are we having the same problems as other communities where they don’t have the right protective gear?” asked Councilor Mimi Woodson.

Henderson said first responders and medical personnel in Columbus are protected as much as they can be while reiterating how important it is to stay six feet away from each other during this health crisis.

“If the hospitals get overwhelmed, some of these personal protective gear and the equipment, it’s harder to come by," said Henderson. "And that’s the biggest fear for us right now is that if we don’t get folks serious about the social distancing, staying home if you’re sick, covering your mouth if you cough, If we can’t get people serious about that, we could possibly have an issue at our hospitals making sure we have the resources.”

He said both Columbus hospitals are currently in good shape and that he’s in communication with them daily in which he receives updates on their equipment.

A councilor also asked about city employees. The city manager said they’ve pretty much left it up to the discretion of department heads in terms of people physically coming to work in the office and the working from home test plans that are in place.

Councilors also approved a resolution to cancel the March 31 agenda/work session meeting, the April 7 proclamation session.

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