Sundance Times - Continuing the Crook County News Since 1884

County reopens – with restrictions


May 28, 2020

The county has reopened access to its buildings, but will continue to impose restrictions for the time being. A resolution passed during a special meeting on Friday allows the public to enter the common areas of the courthouse and visit the offices inside when conducting regular business.

According to County Clerk Linda Fritz, efforts have been made to rope off the bathrooms and employee break area, while keeping the ADA compliant bathroom open to the public, for the safety of staff and visitors. Chairs have been removed from the common area to discourage lingering.

Fritz asked the commission, “How do you want to handle people who want to book time in the community room?” She suggested they could either be kept closed or used on the condition of no more than 25 occupants to meet with state guidelines.

Commissioner Fred Devish felt that the room does not need to be reopened yet; his fellow commissioners agreed. The community room will therefore be excluded from the access list and can only be used for county-related activities, such as election judge trainings planned for August, as long as public health orders are complied with.

Access will continue to be limited to the south side door. This is to allow for an employee entrance and control flow within the building, said Fritz.

No jury trials will take place until August 1, said Clerk of District Court Tina Wood, but, “We will be developing a plan to open the courts” and efforts are being made to obtain the appropriate supplies, such as cleaning items and masks.

Individual county entities such as the library, fair and Weed & Pest building will devise their own guidelines. Jill Mackey, Library Director, explained that the libraries will be open only by appointment for the first couple of weeks and visits will be limited to 30 minutes at a time.

Staff will go behind and disinfect where needed, she continued, though current knowledge on how well COVID-19 survives on surfaces is still “all over the map”. At the present time, she said, it is not thought to stick to paper well, as, “The harder the surface, the longer it lasts,” but books will still be held for a couple of days when returned and the covers will be sterilized.


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