Anyone watching Monday’s Spencer City Council meeting online or in person would have noticed a couple of social distancing-inspired seating changes.
Council members and city staff were more spread out, with each of the council members sitting at individual tables. Mayor Kevin Robinson, city staff and Ward 1 City Councilman Tom Nelson also wore masks inside during the meeting.
“We’re trying to spread out,” Robinson said during the meeting. “We’re trying to keep everybody safe and that’s why you’ll see people spread out all over the council room here tonight.”
At the end of the meeting, Robinson closed by praising the community on how it has handled COVID-19.
“When you look at the COVID-19 numbers, we’re between two counties that are significantly higher than us,” Robinson said. “And I think the citizens in our area have taken it seriously. They take precautions. They have good hygiene, washed their hands. The businesses have made modifications.”
As of Friday afternoon, Clay County had 163 confirmed cases of COVID-19, 116 reported recoveries and one death, according to the Iowa Department of Public Health (IDPH).
Numbers in Dickinson and Buena Vista counties, which Robinson had alluded to, are much higher.
The IDPH has reported 1,771 cases in Buena Vista County, along with 1,677 recoveries and 12 deaths.
Dickinson County has had 352 cases, 235 recoveries and four deaths.
“While we’ve all had this as a disruption in our lives, the numbers reflect the good behavior and the seriousness that people have approached this with,” Robinson said. “So, I thank you for that.”
Robinson wishes luck to Spencer schools families, students, staff
Robinson also wished luck to Spencer Community School District staff, as well as families and their students, as the beginning of the school year approaches.
The school district has released a draft of its Return to Learn plan options, though the school board has not yet taken action on deciding how that plan will be followed.
“Certainly the start of this school year, much like the rest of 2020, except the first 60 days or so, is going to be different than we’ve had before,” Robinson said. “So our thoughts go out to everybody involved with that and look forward to supporting their efforts.”