The Greensboro City Council is holding an emergency meeting Tuesday, March 17 at 3 p.m. in the Council Chamber at city hall.

The meeting is to discuss the state of emergency due to the COVID-19 virus.

At 3:30 p.m., City Manager David Parrish has scheduled a press conference at city hall to provide updates on the latest restrictions related to COVID-19.

City Councilmember Justin Outling said the emergency meeting was, “In a large part to discuss what is going to be stated at the press conference.”

He said, “It’s important for the city to communicate to everyone that their local government is responding appropriately.”

Outling said there was an impression that the city didn’t have the power to act and that all of the directives had to come from the state government.

He said, “We can take additional measures to protect public health and safety. The city can take action if necessary.”

He said it was important for people to understand what the city could do in an emergency situation.

Outling added that representatives of Guilford County government had been invited to the meeting because it was vital “to continue to have a coordinated response with Guilford County which takes the lead on public health issues.”

Outling said, “The meeting and the press conference are to let the public know that we are thinking about these issues and developing a plan. We are praying for the best and planning for the worst.”

According to the North Carolina open meetings law, a public body must provide at least 48-hours notice before holding a “special meeting,” which is a meeting not on its regular schedule.

However, for an “emergency meeting,” a public body is only required to provide as much notice as possible.

The notice for this meeting went out at 12:26, which is less than three hours notice, but well within the requirements set by state law for holding an emergency meeting.