The Haines Borough is revisiting its COVID-19 mitigation policy regarding assembly meeting attendance after a handful of residents showed up to testify in-person at an April 27 meeting.

For most of the past year, borough meeting attendance has been relegated to Zoom in an effort to reduce the spread of coronavirus. The new policy, if approved by the assembly at its next regular meeting on May 11, will allow a limited number of people to begin attending assembly meetings in-person, again.

“We’re going to say that assembly meetings will be in-person, but the public is encouraged to attend via Zoom. We will allow ten audience members on a first-come, first-served basis,” clerk and interim manager Alekka Fullerton said. She said the occupancy limit will allow for social distancing in the assembly chambers.

The rule will apply to all assembly and standing committee meetings. Advisory board attendance policies will be left to the chairs. Other meetings, like town hall meetings, will remain via Zoom.

The borough has been hosting assembly meetings entirely via Zoom since July 28, 2020. Prior to that, assembly meetings had been limited to 10 in-person participants, including assembly members and borough staff, with the option for additional participants via Zoom.