As with all things in the COVID-19 pandemic, the Teton County Board of County Commissioners’ in-person presence in their meeting chambers has ebbed and flowed.
On Monday, that flow will continue when the board convenes in-person for its regularly-scheduled voucher meeting. Commission Chair Natalia D. Macker said the commission plans to do so going forward.
“It does not have an end date at this point,” she said of the in-person plans.
The county commission has been meeting virtually for months because of the COVID-19 pandemic, holding court over Zoom. It recently moved to a hybrid model, with some budget meetings being held in-person. Commissioners have, however, dialed in virtually at times.
But, now, regularly scheduled county-only meetings will also be in-person. Joint meetings with the Jackson Town Council will likely be held virtually for some time.
The public has for months been able to dial in to commission meetings and give public comment over Zoom. Macker said that option is not going away “for the foreseeable future,” though it might down the road.
“I don’t know how that will work five years from now,” the chairwoman said, “but for now my intention is to continue to make that opportunity available.”
And, while the county commission passed a resolution requiring masks in the Emergency Operations Center, Hansen Courthouse, County Courthouse and public health buildings, that resolution did not apply to the Teton County Administration Building at 200 S. Willow St. That’s where the commission’s regular Monday and Tuesday meetings are held, and it appears masks will not be required.
“There are not currently any requirements for the admin building that are different from the county health orders,” Macker said.
Teton County’s mask mandate is slated to end Friday. But Teton District Health Officer Travis Riddell has said that ending the order isn’t an indication masks are no longer necessary, just a recognition that they are again a matter of personal responsibility.
The community has not yet reached the estimated level of protection for herd immunity, and children and immunocompromised people are unable to receive protection from the vaccine, Riddell said in a letter to the community. Taking precautions like mask wearing is still recommended because the community is “not out of the woods yet.”
The county board will meet at 9 a.m. Monday in the Commissioners Chambers at 200 S. Willow St., where they’ll hold a workshop about the Teton Village Fire District’s need for a new fire station at 10 a.m. and another about a plug in the Lucas-Hansen Levee at 11 a.m.
— Tom Hallberg contributed to this report.