The Los Angeles City Council resumed its regular schedule on March 4—including regular Friday meetings—for the first time since the COVID-19 pandemic lockdowns began in March 2020.
During that time, the city council held only eight Friday meetings, while opting out of 95 Friday meetings—not including recessed Fridays.
For 15 months—from March 27, 2020, until June 18, 2021—the city council didn’t hold a single Friday meeting.
While council meetings were mostly held online during the pandemic, and council members met remotely, staff members from the city’s administrative office were required to be present in council chambers for each meeting.
The meetings were skipped in order to give those staff members enough time to see if they developed COVID-19 symptoms before the next council meeting, a spokesperson for Council President Nury Martinez told the Epoch Times.
“We have a responsibility to the people of Los Angeles to keep our government operating while protecting the safety and welfare of city employees,” the spokesperson said. “To hold Friday council meetings, in-person or virtually, support staff are needed on-site to assist with programming and technology. As cases continued to rise, the council president wanted to limit in-person interactions and protect her colleagues and their families from potential exposure.”
The city council’s regular meetings are scheduled for every Tuesday, Wednesday, and Friday at 10 a.m.
The council has been meeting remotely since Jan. 4, due to a rise in COVID-19 Omicron cases.
Prior to that, meetings went virtual at the onset of the pandemic from March 2020 until June 15, 2021, when the council returned to in-person meetings.
The council renewed a motion to meet remotely for one more month on March 1, though City Manager Cynthia Kurtz informed the city council that next month “the council would then have a discussion on another extension or opening the meetings once again.”