Westport Select board goes remote as Covid surges

Cases and positivity rate up sharply across Westport

By Ted Hayes
Posted 12/23/21

They haven't ceased with in-person meetings altogether, but the Westport Select Board held Monday's meeting remotely and plan to do so again early next month, as COVID-19 continues to surge …

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Westport Select board goes remote as Covid surges

Cases and positivity rate up sharply across Westport

Posted

They haven't ceased with in-person meetings altogether, but the Westport Select Board held Monday's meeting remotely and plan to do so again early next month, as COVID-19 continues to surge here.

As of early this week, Westport's positivity rate climbed to 12.7 percent, up 35 percent from the previous week. And so far this month, 322 new cases of Covid have been confirmed, a nearly 50 percent increase from November — "and the month's not even over yet," board chairwoman Shana Shufelt said.

Shufelt said select board members decided last week to hold their meeting over the Internet at the suggestion of Steve Ouellette, as "our meetings tend to get more participation from the public." There's nothing stopping other boards from following suit, she said, though it is individual boards' call at this point whether they want to continue to meet in person.

That could be coming. Tanja Ryden from the board of health said the board is "considering going back to remote, at least in January. Given the trends right now, the numbers are really high and we still don't have that many people who are boosted yet."

Speaking of the town's other boards, she said, "it's sort of a judgement call, depending on the space you're in, the number of people and the comfort level. I would encourage remote at least in January."

Shufelt said that while the select board could mandate fully distanced meetings, "we should plan for (the first select board meeting of 2022) to be remote ... and then look at what's going on."

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