Board of Supervisors meetings to virtual-only because of COVID-19 cases in county building

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RIVERSIDE (CNS) – The County Administrative Center in downtown Riverside will partially close — just over a week after fully reopening — and Board of Supervisors meetings will be entirely virtual, with no in-person attendance for other than staff, because of several confirmed coronavirus infections among staff who work in the building, officials said today.
“This is an important reminder that coronavirus is present throughout all of Southern California and any one of us may contract the virus,” County CEO George Johnson said. “We’ve acted quickly to temporarily close and set up testing to protect employees and residents who visit our offices.”
According to the Executive Office, an undisclosed number — described as “several” — employees who work in the upper floors of the CAC tested positive for COVID-19, prompting precautionary steps by Johnson to limit additional exposure risks.
About 200 employees are now in the process of being screened for the virus.
The fourth and fifth floors of the CAC, located at 4080 Lemon St., were shut down today, and beginning Monday, public access to board members’ and Executive Office staff members’ offices will not be permitted. However, other portions of the building, including the Clerk of the Board’s space on the first floor, will remain open, officials said.
Tuesday’s board meeting, for the first time, will be exclusively online, with only the supervisors, Executive Office staff and a limited number of other employees permitted in the first-floor chamber.
Public participation will be permitted by telephone, but parties are required to submit speaker requests 24 hours in advance by registering at www.rivcocob.org/comments.
The board’s online broadcast is accessible via livestream.com/rivcolive or www.facebook.com/RivCoCOB/.
There was no word on when the temporary partial building closure may be lifted.
Because of a public health order stemming from the COVID-19 pandemic, the CAC had been mostly closed to the public between March 18 and June 15, when all offices were reopened to the public.