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  Consent   4.       
Meeting Date: 06/22/2022  

Information
SUBJECT
Renew authorization for remote (teleconference/videoconference) meetings by finding, pursuant to Assembly Bill 361, that (a) the COVID-19 pandemic state of emergency is ongoing, and (b) meeting in person would present imminent risks to the health or safety of attendees
RECOMMENDED ACTION
Renew authorization for remote (teleconference/videoconference) meetings by finding, pursuant to Assembly Bill 361, that (a) the COVID-19 pandemic state of emergency is ongoing, and (b) meeting in person would present imminent risks to the health or safety of attendees.
FISCAL IMPACT
None.
REASONS FOR RECOMMENDED ACTION
The recommended action is required by Assembly Bill 361 to continue meeting remotely during a declared state of emergency. The Commission has been meeting remotely pursuant to AB 361 since October 28, 2021. AB 361 amended the Brown Act to add simplified procedures that make it easier to hold remote meetings during a state of emergency proclaimed by the Governor (a local emergency is insufficient). See Gov. Code §54953(e). To meet remotely during a proclaimed emergency the legislative body must find either of the following circumstances is present; (a) state or local officials continue to impose or recommend measures to promote social distancing, or (b) as a result of the declared emergency, the legislative body finds by majority vote that meeting in person would present imminent risks to the health or safety of attendees.

To date, the Commission has relied on County staff regarding the use of the Board Chamber and the social distancing recommendations of the County Health Officer in adopting AB 361 findings. Like many other county health officers, however, the Yolo County Health Officer is no longer issuing requirements or recommendations for social distancing and the Commission must therefore consider the "imminent risks" finding to continue meeting remotely. The following facts and conclusions made by County staff seem sufficient to support such a finding for Commission meetings also, including:
  • Like many other facilities throughout the County, the Board of Supervisors Chamber is not designed to ensure the Commission, staff, and attendees can remain six feet apart to reduce the possibility of infection with the virus that causes COVID-19; 
  • Holding in-person meetings would encourage community members to come to County facilities to participate in local government, and some of them are likely to be at high risk for serious illness from COVID-19 and/or live with someone who is at high risk.
Although Commission meetings in general do not have many attendees, staff believe the Commission can appropriately make the findings necessary to allow continued implementation of AB 361.
BACKGROUND
Because the Commission uses the Board Chamber for its meetings staff has been following the guidelines set by County staff  and the Board of Supervisors regarding the use of the Board Chamber. County staff states that the risks mentioned above could be reduced significantly through the implementation of technological improvements to allow hybrid meetings with limited in-person attendance, assuming (as CAO staff expect) that such improvements reduce in-person attendance enough to allow social distancing. CAO staff anticipate such improvements may be available in the Board of Supervisors Chamber in the near future and, at that point, the Commission could appropriately reconsider the "imminent risk" finding and commence hybrid meetings. It is possible the June 30 meeting could be held as a hybrid meeting and staff will work closely with County staff to identify and announce a date of return for the Commission.

Under the hybrid approach, most or all Commission members and essential staff would attend in-person, and other staff and members of the public would likely choose to participate remotely for the sake of convenience. A continued decline in community case rates could also support revisiting the "imminent risk" finding in the near future. Staff would also take reasonable precautions in the Board Chamber including:
  • Physical distancing - in a hybrid format staff would set up the Board Chamber to have physical distancing where at least every other seat fot he public is out of service to ensure distance between attendees.
  • Air filtration - County staff have added HEPA filtration to the Board Chamber to ensure filtration of air to remove viral particles
The Board of Supervisors could also direct its staff to implement other precautions as appropriate such as plexiglass barriers and face coverings, as well as mandatory attendee testing (if legally viable). Staff will continue to keep the Commission updated.
Attachments
No file(s) attached.

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Form Review
Form Started By: Terri Tuck Started On: 06/21/2022 09:05 AM
Final Approval Date: 06/21/2022

    

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