Mercer County Courthouse to reopen on Monday with modifications and restrictions

PRINCETON, WV (WOAY) – As of May 18, 2020, the Mercer County Courthouse will reopen following the initial onset of the COVID-19 virus. To do so, the County Commission has put into place a series of protocols to help keep our employees and constituents safe.

The following is a list of procedures that will be in place upon reopening:

• Traffic Pattern: There will be arrows/signs available to help detour traffic in a proper direction to avoid cross-contact with people.
• Social Distance: We are recommending to continue social distancing within the courthouse. Lines within the hallway will be marked 6’ apart to help control spread of the virus. The maximum number of visitors on each floor of the courthouse is 25.
• Masks: We are recommending that everyone wear a mask.
• Cleaning: The Courthouse has been actively cleaning daily to prepare for the reopening. We will be wiping down counters following every transaction.
• Doors: Office doors to each department will be open to avoid contact. There will only be two persons allowed in each office at a given time. Others will wait in the socially distant lines within the courthouse.
• Tempered Glass Screens: We are in the process of installing permanent tempered glass screens to protect workers and constituents.
• Tape: There will be tape on the floors to help provide accurate social distancing guidelines within the hallways.
• Color Code: Upon entering the courthouse, a color code will help guide constituents to the appropriate office. The codes are as follows:

Green – Sheriff’s Office – Taxes
Dark Blue – Assessor’s Office – Tax Assessment Forms
Light Blue – County Clerk’s Office – Deeds, Birth Certificates
Orange – Circuit Clerk’s Office – Court Documents

QUESTIONS TO BE ASKED AT THE DOOR

WHAT TO DO: Screen everyone who enters the facility, including
• All Visitors
• All Clients

ASK THE FOLLOWING QUESTIONS WHEN YOU SCREEN:
Have you or anyone in your home had contact within the last fourteen days with any person under screening/testing for COVID-19, or with anyone known or suspected of having COVID-19?

If the individual answers YES to the screening question, they should be denied entry and advised to seek medical direction from their personal physician.

If the individual answers NO to the screening questions, the person can be permitted into the facility and should be instructed to practice strong infection control strategies:
o Maintaining social (physical) distancing of 6 feet
o Wearing a cloth face covering
o Washing hands (soap and water for 20 seconds or hand sanitizer containing at least 60% alcohol)
o Covering coughs and sneezes with an elbow
o Avoid touching their face
o Cleaning surfaces frequently

EMPLOYEE PROTOCOL

To protect the Mercer County Courthouse, it is imperative to have a strong written policy to protect the health of all workers.

Masks are to be worn when entering and leaving the building, in the hallways, and in other offices. If you are working at your own desk, you may opt to remove your mask. Surgical masks will be provided to all employees.

Gloves are available as needed and they are to be worn while wiping down the counters while cleaning the restrooms and tempered glass.

As this pandemic continues, we will be monitoring the situation and making policy adjustments as needed. These guidelines come from the Mercer County Commission, based on recommendations from other commissions statewide, and in accordance with CDC guidelines. Thank you for your understanding during this difficult time.

Tyler Barker
Tyler Barker is currently the News Director and Digital Content Manager for WOAY-TV. He was promoted to this job in Mid-November. He still will fill in on weather from time to time. You can follow Tyler on Facebook and Twitter @wxtylerb. Have any news tips or weather questions? Email him at tbarker@woay.com