By Kevin Edwards BC Staff Writer The Cleveland Board of Aldermen had its first meeting since the beginning of the coronavirus pandemic in early March. Just a month ago, the board and department heads were able to meet normally in the main conference room of Cleveland's municipal building. Since then, Gov. Tate Reeves has signed a stay-at-home order that is prohibiting gatherings of 10 or more people. This applies to government. To adjust, the board and department heads met through the online streaming service Zoom and the meeting was broadcast live on YouTube to comply with open meeting laws. "I was on a conference call this morning and nationwide they expect this thing to peak out some day next week," said Alderman Gary Gainspoletti. "We've got to keep our guard up at least for another seven to 10 days." "Let's all be safe, and we hope it's going to be that quick, but we all know how Bolivar County, how bad we've had these last few days," said Mayor Billy Nowell. "With 38 new cases in a matter of eight days, that's more than three-fourths of counties in Mississippi have had the whole time. To say we're not a hotspot would be just kind of fooling yourself." Nowell asked residents to go to their porches and ring a bell for one minute at 6 p.m. every day as a show of unity. Fire Inspector Greg Jackson said city firefighters are taking steps to ensure they are safe in case of emergencies. "We're not going to do anything to alarm anybody, but we want to make sure we protect the public as well as protect the firefighters during this." Meetings and trainings are being held online or individually. Gainspoletti asked Jackson if responders were aware of houses that had a person infected with coronavirus. Jackson said he and Cleveland Police Chief Buster Bingham have that list of residences available to them. "We have been working with Buster very diligently and we will actually have a code that comes on the radio if we dispatch to a particular home and we will know before we respond to that home if it's known," said Jackson. Bingham said that as of now the officer who was stationed at the troublesome store on White Street last month has had to be moved temporarily due to the need to enforce measures throughout the city. "I have been as short as five officers at one time due to having to be going home to make sure that they didn't have this coronavirus," Bingham said. "I've got all of them back now. Their tests have come back negative, so I've got all of them back now." Keith Christopher of Inframark is also taking steps to ensure safety. "We're hanging in there," Christopher said. "We're kind of in survival mode. We're trying to fulfill all of our organizations but at the same time I'm trying to protect all my people. We've got the office in the shutdown mode. We've got the gate closed. I'm trying to keep my guys off the street. "They're only out there when we've gotta be doing what we've gotta do and trying to minimize contact. I've honored the mayor's request. All my guys are wearing masks to try and set an example for the general public." The board approved waiving the $25 late fee for water bills during the pandemic. The meeting is available to watch on the City of Cleveland, MS YouTube page. The next meeting was approved for May 5 at 6:30 p.m. Notice of online streaming will be posted on the city's website.