Athens City Council met on Monday to discuss the potential return of a mask mandate and establishment of a remote work space in Athens.
On Aug. 9, Athens reached “substantial transmission” levels as per the Center for Disease Control and Prevention. Therefor, the city will follow recent CDC recommendations according to which all the people, regardless of their vaccination status, should wear masks indoors during public gatherings.
Councilwoman Sarah Grace, D At-Large, gave a presentation on the status of Coronavirus infections. Most members agreed that a mask mandate may is necessary for Athens at this time. A letter from LeeAnn Lucas-Helber, president of OhioHealth O’Bleness Hospital also urged Athens residents to resume wearing masks.
City Council will also enter into an agreement with consulting firm Sunday Creek Horizons to establish a remote work space program in Athens. The entry of remote work will lead to economic growth in Athens as this will attract more workers. The armory in Athens will be renovated into a community space for remote work.
Some other discussions in the Monday meeting included several vacant city positions and changes to its structure. Athens Mayor Steve Patterson suggested outsourcing information technology to a third party company. He also suggested while that the position of CIO, or chief information officer should be eliminated.
Reinitiating a mask mandate despite vaccination can help the city function as usual while avoiding an economic crisis. Also, with remote work becoming increasingly useful for most regions, this will bring in opportunities for growth for professionals and for the city.
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