CHICAGO (CBS) — For the first time in more than a year, the City Council will meet in-person at City Hall for their monthly session next week, although some members may continue to attend via video conference.

The council has been meeting via Zoom since last spring due to the pandemic, but Mayor Lori Lightfoot’s office announced Friday afternoon that in-person meetings would resume with their next meeting on Wednesday at 10 a.m.

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“After this incredibly difficult year, safely welcoming Aldermen back into City Council Chamber will help to restore a sense of normalcy for our city,” Lightfoot said in a statement. “Though City Council will look a little different than it did before the pandemic, providing an option to return to in-person City Council meetings is something Aldermen have been looking forward to and I am thrilled we are able to finally make it a reality.”

While aldermen can continue to participate in council meetings remotely, Lightfoot’s office said the mayor will preside over the meeting in-person from the Council Chambers.

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In an effort to prevent the spread of COVID-19, the public seating area on the second floor of City Hall will be closed to allow for socially distanced seating for aldermen. The third floor gallery will be open for public participation, and people who wish to speak during the public comment period will be selected at random. Anyone wishing to attend the meeting in-person must line up outside City Hall south of the LaSalle Street entrance.

Meetings will still be streamed live on the City Clerk’s website, and people who wish to speak remotely also will be selected at random. Anyone who would like to provide public comment remotely can call (312) 744-6800 between 24 and 48 hours before the meeting. Those who wish to provide a written public comment can submit written comments, not to exceed two pages, to public_comments@cityofchicago.org.

Additional precautions include:

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  • Temperature and symptom screening checks will continue at the entrance to City Hall.
  • Participant seating will be separated by six feet and wearing a face mask is required.
  • Attendance in the Council Chamber will be limited to Aldermen and staff essential to conducting the meeting.

Committee meetings will continue virtually until further notice, according to the mayor’s office.

CBS 2 Chicago Staff