ANGOLA — Nov. 16's meeting of the Steuben County Board of Commissioners saw a limited number of seats available as the room is being greater spaced in light of growing COVID-19 case numbers in Steuben County.

The same held true at last week's meeting of the Steuben County Council.

"I think right now, if the seats are available, we're good," Commissioner Lynne Liechty said.

During Nov. 16's meeting, generally, people who were on the agenda waited in the hallway until they were called to present.

Auditor Kim Meyers said that might end up being the protocol in the future, particularly with climbing numbers and limited seating. The room has been reduced to seven chairs in the audience, which would truly space at least 6 feet between people.

No members of the public were denied access to Nov. 16's meeting.

Commissioners said if numbers worsen, there might come a time when only the commissioners, auditor and limited staff are present, and everyone else — save for those presenting — will only be allowed to attend by phone. There were at least three people who attended Nov. 16's meeting by phone.

Prior to the start of the meeting Ron Smith, president of the commissioners, told people they needed to be wearing masks.

"As long as they're in the room, they should have a mask on," Smith said. "As far as you up front (elected officials and staff) you're properly spaced. That's up to you."

In recent months, people attending the meetings have typically been wearing masks at all times until they are called on to speak. And some still keep their masks on while speaking.

When the county park department personnel were asked to present, it was noted that one wedding at the Steuben County Event Center has canceled due to COVID-19 restrictions, it was implied.

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