If you had told people in March of 2020 that the pandemic was going to last at least two years, they probably would have thought you were nuts.

However, one clear sign that that government officials are not willing to give up on pandemic restrictions is that the Guilford County Board of Commissioners has gone back to virtual meetings after opening up their meetings to in-person guests in the second half of last year.

On Tuesday, Jan. 11, the  Board of Commissioners announced that, in order to “ensure the safety of our community and staff in light of the surge in COVID-19 Positivity Rates in Guilford County,” the next regular meeting of the board – which will be on Thursday, Jan. 20 at 5:30 p.m. – will be virtual.  

Some commissioners will be in attendance in the commissioners’ meeting room on the second floor of the Old Guilford County Court House in downtown Greensboro, and a limited number of people will be allowed to speak in person at the meeting.  This is what the Greensboro City Council calls a “hybrid” meeting, but Guilford County calls it a virtual meeting.

At the Jan. 20 meeting there will be limited in-person participation for those taking part in two public hearings.

There may also be virtual participants in those hearings.

Registration of virtual public hearings participants will be on a first-come, first-served basis for a maximum of five in-person or virtual proponents and five in-person or virtual opponents.  

Those virtual speakers, as well as those who register as virtual “Speakers from the Floor” on any topic, should join the Zoom platform at least 30 minutes before the start of the meeting. Registration for virtual “Speakers from the Floor” will be on a first-come, first-served basis for a maximum of 10 speakers. Each speaker always gets three minutes to share their two cents with the board.

Those who wish to participate in the meeting can contact Deputy Clerk to Board Jessica Wolf at jwolf@guilfordcountync.gov no later than 1 p.m. on Wednesday, January 19.

The rest of the county’s agenda that night won’t be made public until later in the week.

As usual, those wishing to just watch the meeting have a range of options. They can, for instance, use Zoom on computer, tablet or smartphone by going to https://us02web.zoom.us/j/81807438889?pwd=MDFicGkxUDN5UmFHTmwzUEJVZ0lNQT09 and following the instructions.

They can also view the live stream from the county’s “Meetings & Minutes” webpage at https://guilford.legistar.com/Calendar.aspx. There’s will be a video link for the Jan. 20 meeting.

Those who wish to watch the old-fashioned way, on TV, can do so by watching the live broadcast on Greensboro Television Network (GTN) – which is channel 13 on Spectrum, channel 31 on NorthState and channel 99 on AT&T U-verse.