~from the Office of Neighborhoods


Do you have a regularly scheduled neighborhood meeting coming up? Is your neighborhood in the process of tackling an important issue? With the growing concerns over COVID-19, you may be vacillating on the decision of whether or not to meet.


Here are some ways to have important discussions with your neighborhood group while avoiding the spread of COVID-19:

* Limit the numbers: If you decide meeting in person is necessary for your neighborhood, consider limiting the numbers in the group and maintaining a distance of 6 feet between people. For example, you could have a board meeting instead of a full neighborhood meeting or send an email asking for a committee of 10 or less to meet and discuss the topic.


* Think about having your meeting electronically: Facebook Live is an excellent tool. The neighborhood president or a tech-savvy member can log in and start the live stream. Any members watching will have the opportunity to submit questions and make comments in real time for that member to address. Use Skype, Zoom, Facetime or other video chat services to hold “face to face” discussions from the comfort of their own homes.


* An old fashioned email chain can also be an answer. Send an email out with the topics you plan to discuss, the agenda, and ask neighbors to all come online at the regularly scheduled meeting time. Have everyone hit “reply all” and send in comments, questions, etc. Utilizing this same idea also works well in a Google Doc, which you can update live and chat while working through the document.


In times like these, many have to make tough decisions, including canceling your neighborhood meeting. To meet or not to meet is entirely up to you. Look at the CDC Guidelines to avoid the risks of spreading disease. Stay informed on the ever-changing discussion about the virus. Act in the best interest of your neighbors—the healthy ones and those who are most vulnerable.