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Social distancing options created for Supervisors meetings

Despite the current public health emergency, the Board of Supervisors must conduct official meetings to ensure county government continues to function and adapt to ever-changing challenges. That’s why the county has set up ways for the public to easily view and participate in Board of Supervisors meetings while practicing safe social distancing, starting with this Tuesday’s meeting.

The county strongly urges the public to not physically attend board meetings while public health orders aimed at controlling the spread of novel coronavirus are in place. But those who want to watch board meetings and even offer comments and participate in public hearings can do so through websites and email from their homes.

The public may view board meetings live by visiting http://www.sbcounty.gov/Main/Pages/ViewMeetings.aspx. Video recordings of past meetings are also available on that site.

Those who want to comment on specific agenda items, make general comments, or submit testimony for public hearings and have those comments provided to each board member prior to the meeting can send their comments and testimony to the Clerk of the Board by email at BoardMeetingComments@cob.sbcounty.gov or online, up to 1,500 characters, at http://www.sbcounty.gov/cob/publiccomments/default.aspx prior to 8 a.m. on meeting days.

The public can also submit comments and testimony during meetings through the same email address and website. Comments and testimony submitted after 8 a.m. and during the meeting won’t be provided to each board member but will be read aloud by the Clerk of the Board during the meeting, time permitting. All comments and testimony submitted before and during the meeting will be included in their entirety in the official record of the meeting.

Those who choose to physically attend the meeting at the County Government Center in San Bernardino will be required to maintain social distancing and remain at least six feet apart from anyone else. This will greatly reduce capacity in the board chambers and could result in denying entry to members of the public if capacity is reached. A viewing room will be set up near the board chambers if capacity is reached, but social distancing will be enforced in that room as well.

The public can also view and participate in board meetings at the county’s videoconferencing sites in Hesperia and Joshua Tree. Those sites are located at the Jerry Lewis High Desert Government Center, 15900 Smoke Tree Street, Hesperia, and the Bob Burke Joshua Tree Government Center, 63665 Twentynine Palms Highway, Joshua Tree. Social distancing protocols will be enforced in all locations.

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