Sandy Springs stepped back from reopening plans for city facilities because COVID-19 cases continue to surge, with City Hall meetings going back to virtual only and City Springs arts events further delayed.

“The upward trend in cases is concerning. We are in uncharted territory and must adjust course based on what health officials and the data tell us,” said Mayor Rusty Paul in a press release. “Given what we know today, we feel it is prudent to look closely at activities where people tend to gather.”

The city has canceled its summer concerts and put on hold entertainment events in the Sandy Springs Performing Arts Center. Later this year, a decision will be made on possible reopening dates. Paul said in his July 9 “State of the City” address that the PAC may remain shuttered into 2021.

The July 21 City Council meeting originally scheduled as an in-person meeting at City Hall will now only be accessible only by livestream. The city still plans to hold a Planning Commission meeting set for July 22 as in-person in addition to livestreaming because public hearings had been advertised.

The city will restrict all future Board of Appeals, City Council and Planning Commission meetings to livestreaming only until further notice. Scheduled meetings and links to agendas can be found on the city website.

“We are all feeling the strain from COVID, economically, physically, and mentally. I understand the powerful desire to insert elements that bring back a sense of normalcy, but we are not there yet in terms of getting control over the outbreak,” Paul said in the press release. “We all need to heed the advice of health officials: avoid large crowds; practice diligent hand washing; keep a six-foot distance; and wear a mask when in public places.”

Bob Pepalis covers Sandy Springs for Rough Draft Atlanta and Reporter Newspapers.