Courthouse buttons up
Fast-rising COVID-19 cases in the county mean courthouse doors are locked and only people with appointments who call inside will be admitted.
County commissioners Friday morning took up employee protection before canvassing votes.
Commissioner David Crofoot suggested commissioners issue a “strong recommendation to wear a mask, stay home,” and cancel large family gatherings for Thanksgiving.
Crofoot said he’s aware of three people who traveled outside the county for events and contracted the virus.
Commissioner Dianne Novak, however, called his suggestion to cancel holiday gatherings “outrageous.”
Chairman Jonah Gehring instead proposed the county go back to the same style of courthouse lockdown it imposed in March.
He said courthouse doors should be locked, as many employees as possible should work from home, and public access should be by appointment only.
Commissioners voted unanimously Friday to impose the lockdown as soon as possible.
It went into effect Wednesday.
Commissioners will review the COVID situation on a monthly basis and make a decision whether to continue the lockdown.
Last spring, residents who needed to take care of business at a county office phoned or emailed the office they needed to visit and stated their reason.
Employees came to the door to let them in.
During county commission meetings, required by state law to be open to the public, the south door of the building remained unlocked. People who came to the courthouse were screened by a deputy and an emergency medical service employee.
If visitors had two or more factors that put them at high risk for COVID, they were denied admission.