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Rogers City Council meeting attendee tests positive for COVID-19

Everyone who attended the meeting has been contacted and alerted about the positive test.

ROGERS, Ark. — A person who attended Monday's (Nov. 16) City Council budget meeting in Rogers has tested positive for COVID-19, according to Shanda Hunter, Public Relations Manager for the City of Rogers. 

Everyone who attended the meeting has been contacted and alerted about the positive test, Hunter told 5NEWS. Those who came in close proximity to the person who tested positive were contacted directly. 

The alert sent to meeting goers stated:

"You are receiving this notice because you have been identified as someone who may have come into contact with a now confirmed COVID-19 positive individual during the budget meeting on Monday.  Persons with more than 15 minutes of close proximity were notified earlier today. Out of an abundance of caution, you are receiving this general notice. While we certainly took more than the recommended precautions during the entire meeting, I feel compelled to inform you of the currently known circumstances.  Depending on your individual circumstance, you should take whatever precautions you and your physician deem reasonable.  While this is regretful, it is certainly a very real part of the world we live in right now and underscores the reason we have conducted, and will continue to conduct, as much of our work as possible virtually.  Upon notice, I entered quarantine today and have a test scheduled for Friday.  While some of the city hall operations will be adjusted for at least the next few weeks, rest assured that all operations will remain open and no services will be interrupted at this time. As always, do your best to stay safe."

The Rogers City Council meetings have been conducted online since the spring. Monday's meeting was held in-person to discuss next year’s budget and the city decided to do it in a very large ballroom at the John Q. Hammon’s Center, Hunter said. 

Face masks and social distancing was required at the meeting, according to Hunter. Guidelines were set and communicated in advance. 

Hunter said department heads were allowed to take off their masks at a podium in the middle of the room. The podium and microphone were sanitized between each speaker. City council members, lead city employees, HR and Mayor Hines removed their masks when they spoke into the microphones. 

Every council member, lead city employees, HR and Mayor Hines were seated at their own tables six-feet apart, according to Hunter. Other city employees and guests were seated in chairs six feet apart in all directions. Microphones, tables and podiums were sanitized with disinfectant wipes between each use. 

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