Laguna Beach shifts public meetings online amid COVID-19 surge

Signs outside Laguna Beach City Hall direct visitors to check-in at the Council Chambers amid a COVID-19 case surge in December 2020. Photo by Daniel Langhorne

Laguna Beach will shift all public meetings online for two weeks but the doors to city hall will remain open for business amid a nationwide surge in COVID-19 cases and hospitalizations, a city spokesperson said Monday.

Mask wearing will be required at all city buildings regardless of vaccination status and distancing protocols will be observed, Laguna Beach spokesperson Cassie Walder wrote in an email.

“We encourage anyone with symptoms to stay home and get tested and we are providing onsite testing for City employees,” Walder wrote.

While the majority of city employees are vaccinated against COVID-19, staffers who chose not to get jabbed have been required to get weekly coronavirus tests for months.

The Planning Commission will now meet via Zoom at 6 p.m. on Wednesday. The City Council will also virtually meet at 5 p.m. on Jan 11. Community members cannot share in-person public comments at either meeting.

Newport Beach announced Sunday that it would close city hall and ad community centers to the public for two weeks. All city services continue but will be conducted virtually or a drop-off process.

Irvine isn’t planning to close any city facilities or meetings. City officials continue to monitor case rates and will make any necessary adjustments, Irvine city spokesperson Kristina Perrigoue wrote in an email Monday.

This story is developing and will be updated as necessary.

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