The Hamilton County Board of County Commissioners is looking into the possibility of holding electronic meetings during the Coronavirus pandemic.

JASPER — The Hamilton County Board of County Commissioners may not meet — at least, in person — again soon.

Rather, the board discussed at its March 17 meeting the possibility of holding electronic meetings during the Coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic to help reduce exposure for the county’s residents. The board is looking into that possibility as well as how to ensure public participation, which is required by law, if the board is able to hold an e-meeting.

Also during the March 17 meeting, the board declared a local state of emergency in the county. It also placed a ban on mass gatherings in the county, including funerals and recreation events.

The board will discuss that ban, and whether it needs to continue, at its April 7 meeting.

Despite the state of emergency and the local ban on mass gatherings, Commissioner Josh Smith stated that throughout this time, that residents needed to keep some form of normalcy in their lives.

Smith, who made the motion on enacting the ban which included a two-week time frame during his ban, while the Center for Disease Control had recommended no mass gatherings for at least eight weeks.

Department of Health Director Thomas Moffses and Jeremy Gifford also addressed the board about the COVID-19 outbreak. Mofffses stated there were no confirmed cases in Hamilton nor Columbia counties, although there have since been two positive tests in Columbia County.

Kara M. Compo is a reporter for the Suwannee Democrat, Jasper News and Mayo Free Press. Her beats include general assignment, government, politics, law enforcement and first responders. ​

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