As one of the first elected bodies in the state to meet in public since the mid-March COVID-19 state of emergency was declared, Sussex County Council was back in session June 30.
Other than a few county staff, only one reporter was in the audience with no members of the public attending. All meetings continue to be available via teleconference and livestreamed on the county website at sussexcountyde.gov.
Only the five council members were seated at the council table, with county staff members sitting at other tables. Everyone attending the meeting but Councilman Sam Wilson of Georgetown followed the requirement of wearing a face covering in council chambers and the county administration building. Wilson did not give a reason for not wearing a mask.
Council held a morning session to take care of county business and also scheduled a series of public hearings in the afternoon.
Sussex County Administrator Todd Lawson said open meetings are subject to change depending on requirements from state health officials and how Gov. John Carney implements phases of the reopening plan. “It’s still day to day,” he said.
In Phase 2, the county can hold public meetings with up to 60 percent of normal room occupancy. Even so, Lawson said, in order to meet 6-foot social distancing requirements, only about 30 people can sit in council chambers.
On June 29, the county administration building opened with limited access for the public to make payments and obtain building permits.
Because of the July Fourth holiday, council will not meet Tuesday, July 7.