Metro city council self-isolating after someone at meeting tests positive for COVID-19

DEKALB COUNTY, Ga. — The Chamblee City Council held its first public meeting on Thursday and now the city government has to self-isolate.

Leaders learned Sunday night that someone who attended the meeting tested positive for COVID-19.

All five council members, the mayor and the city manager are self-isolating for 14 days and have asked everyone who attended the meeting to do the same.

One of the councilwomen spoke to Channel 2’s Lori Wilson, urging caution as governments start to reopen.

Chamblee city council member Karen Lupton was part of the meeting Thursday that city attorneys said needed to happen to avoid any legal issues with variance requests.

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“They felt it best to go forward and have a full public hearing as safely as possible,” Lupton said. “I need to recognize that I’ve been exposed and keep other people safe.”

Lupton said she learned on Sunday that someone at the meeting tested positive for COVID-19.

She is now worried for her family members but told Wilson that the city took every safety precaution.

When Wilson contacted the city for comment, they sent her a statement that said, in part:

"Staff attendance was limited. Chairs were spaced 10 feet apart and hand sanitizer and Lysol spray were provided throughout the building. Unfortunately, a person at the meeting Thursday night was not symptomatic, but became symptomatic Friday night, and tested positive for covid-19 on Sunday."

“I would encourage other municipalities and other people who feel like they need to meet in person, to be real creative to come up with solutions,” Lupton said.

Lupton said after her 14-day self-isolation, she will take her advice from medical professionals as to when to attend the next public meeting.

She said uniform rules as to how and when things reopen would help all Georgia municipalities.

“This whole experience has been very odd in that guidelines seem to be like shifting sand,” Lupton said.

The councilwoman said the city of Chamblee did everything right but because the virus can be spread asymptomatically, everyone still needs to be abundantly cautious.

The next meeting for the council will be held virtually.