WESTFIELD, NJ — Officials abruptly adjourned a virtual meeting of the Westfield Board of Health Monday after unwanted visitors hijacked the session by writing offensive comments in chat boxes.

Around 10 minutes into the session, the mischief-makers, which have become widely known as “Zoom-bombers,” began writing the offense and racist words into the chat box and Q&A sections of the Zoom meeting, causing officials to stop the session before reconvening a short time later.

The disrupters did not interfere with the video functions of the meeting, as has been there case during Zoom bombing incidents elsewhere.

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MORE: Westfield Health Officials on Possibility of a Second COVID-19 Wave

At Monday night’s meeting, Councilman David Contract, liaison to the Green Team, had been seeking a clarification of the board’s regulations as they apply to the keeping of rain barrels.

“I use Zoom all day at work and that has never happened to me,” Contract said when the board reconvened. “That is absolutely disgusting.”

In April, the Westfield Public School district had transitioned off of using Zoom due to security concerns as Zoom users were witnessing a nationwide rise in Zoom-bombing.

Health officials covered the agenda items on the meeting as planned, briefing the board on COVID-19 and confirming for the councilman that rain barrels, a device that captures rainwater for productive use, are indeed permitted in town as long as they are properly maintained.

Email Matt Kadosh at mkadosh@tapinto.net | Twitter: @MattKadosh

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