AURORA | Members of Aurora City Council plan to return to their wood-paneled chamber on East Alameda Parkway for the first time in roughly 20 months next week despite a surge in COVID-19 cases and dwindling numbers of hospital beds across the region.
In a statement issued Wednesday, the city announced that members will meet in-person for their upcoming Nov. 22 regular meeting, marking the first time the body will physically convene since the pandemic began last March. Members have been meeting telephonically in the interim.
“This situation will continue to be monitored and adjusted as conditions dictate,” a city spokesperson wrote in a statement. “We are mindful of the current number of cases and will continue to be thoughtful and cautious about the potential impacts to staff and the public by indoor, in-person gatherings.”
Attendance will be limited to council members, certain city staffers and any additional staffers tasked with presenting items to lawmakers in presentations.
Members of the public will be able to make comments via phone by calling 855-695-3475 and pressing 3.
The meetings will still be aired on AuroraTV.org and on the city’s YouTube page.
Other city meetings like more informal study sessions and policy committee meetings will continue to be held virtually.
The next meeting will mark the last for the current iteration of council as newly elected members are slated to be sworn in Dec. 6.
COVID-19 case rates in Aurora are rivaling those seen last winter, data collected by the recently splintered Tri-County Health Department show. The weekly incidence rate per 100,000 in Aurora was 323.5 cases on Nov. 7 — the highest number since early January.
In Arapahoe County, intensive care units are currently 99.4% full, data show.
A third of state hospitals are anticipating even more ICU bed shortages in the next week, according to the state department of public health and environment.