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Chicago City Council Could Resume In-Person Meetings As Soon As April

CHICAGO (CBS) -- After holding meetings exclusively by video conference for the past 11 months, the City Council could resume in-person meetings as early as April, Mayor Lori Lightfoot said at Wednesday's meeting.

Lightfoot last week received her second dose of the vaccine, shots have been made available to all 50 aldermen, and the mayor said the city is making arrangements to get staffers at the City Clerk's office vaccinated before resuming in-person meetings. She said she also wants to have discussions with aldermen about plans for maintaining social distancing and other precautions against COVID-19 before resuming in-person meetings.

"Let's have further discussions, but I believe that we would be in a position to come back by April, if not sooner. For now we would anticipate that the March meeting would be remote, but certainly we would like to move back to in-person meetings as soon as possible," Lightfoot told aldermen at Wednesday's virtual City Council meeting.

Ald. Jason Ervin (28th), for one, said he'd prefer the City Council wait a bit longer if necessary to ensure that members of the public also can attend meetings in person, noting the vaccine still isn't available to most of the general public.

"We should be able to meet when the people are able to meet with us as well. While I know that we may be eager to jump back into things, I do think that it's important for our residents and constituents also to be able to be with us when we meet," Ervin said.

However, Lightfoot said any plan for resuming in-person meetings will include accommodations for the public to participate in person as well.

The mayor said the city's Department of Assets, Information and Services is making plans to maintain social distancing inside the City Council Chambers when in-person meetings do resume.

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