HAMLET — The monthly City Council meeting, generally held the second Tuesday of each month, has been canceled.
City Clerk Gail Strickland sent out a notice early Tuesday afternoon “due to COVID exposures” and to keep staff and the public safe.
Information on a rescheduled time or date is expected to be announced after Jan. 14.
The main item on the agenda, a public hearing for rezoning for 2 acres on Gin Mill Road, has been rescheduled for Feb. 8.
Other agenda items included a proclamation for Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Day and a closed session for attorney-client privilege and personnel.
According to the Richmond County Health Department, Hamlet saw an increase of 221 new COVID cases from Jan. 3 to Jan. 10.
On Tuesday, the Health Department reported 96 new cases across the county, bringing the number of cases since Dec. 31 to 1,052.
By 3 p.m., there were 29 new cases within the school system, according to the Richmond County Schools COVID Tracker.
The Tracker showed 23 new student cases in nine of the 15 schools: five at Washington Street Elementary; four at the Ninth Grade Academy; three at East Rockingham Elementary; two each at Fairview Heights and Mineral Springs Elementary, Cordova and Hamlet Middle, and Ashley Chapel Educational Center; and one at Ellerbe Middle.
Mineral Springs and Ellerbe Middle were the only two schools with no cases listed on Monday.
The Tracker also showed a total of six new staff cases, one each at L.J. Bell and Washington Street Elementary, Cordova, Ellerbe and Hamlet Middle and Central Services.
The N.C. Department of Health and Human Services reported 17,705 new cases statewide.
Nearly 4,000 COVID patients filled North Carolina hospitals on Monday, according to NCDHHS.
State health officials on Monday issued a social media plea on behalf of hospitals urging patients to go somewhere else, not the emergency room, unless they have a medical emergency.
The Biden Administration announced Monday that, beginning Jan. 15, insurance companies and group health plans will be required to cover the cost for FDA-approved at-home COVID test kits.
According to the Health Department, there were no new vaccinations.
COVID vaccinations and boosters are available at the Health Department from 8 a.m. -5 p.m. Monday-Thursday 8-5, and 8-11 a.m. on Fridays with no appointment needed.
Vaccinations have been authorized for children as young as five and boosters for those as young as 12.