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HC prepares to re-open government facilities

HC prepares to re-open government facilities HC prepares to re-open government facilities

Plexiglass barriers and other safety measures are being put in place as Harrison County offices are set to re-open Tuesday.

On Monday night, the Harrison County Board of Commissioners decided to let the county’s order expire that has kept county offices closed to the public for the past two months.

The barriers will be in place at locations where county employees interact with the public although a couple of offices might not be ready by Tuesday morning. The commissioners said those offices could remain closed until the barriers are installed if the department head decides it would be necessary to wait for the safety measure.

Customers inside government facilities will need to stay six feet apart and could have to stay outside until the line inside any particular office has gotten smaller to allow them to keep their distance.

“If we happen to have a surge, let’s be quick to go and shut ’er down if it were to occur,” said Commissioner Jim Heitkemper. “But, I think we will be safe with everybody watching how they handle themselves around other people.”

Commissioner Charlie Crawford said the county will open and follow federal guidelines to help prevent the spread of COVID-19. Residents wanting to do business at a county office are encouraged to wear face masks while entering a county building.

“We’ve been pretty fortunate so far,” said Commissioner Kenny Saulman. “We have not had a county employee, I don’t think, that has been diagnosed with this virus.”

Heitkemper said he was tested but the results were negative.

When county offices re-open, county government will begin meeting again in person, beginning with the Harrison County Council at 7 p.m. on Tuesday (moved from Monday due to Memorial Day) at the government center in Corydon.

Fewer chairs will be in the meeting room to help distance the attendees from each other. The commissioners said they are looking at adding a note outside the room that would tell attendees to not stand in the room once seating is full.

“We really don’t want that many people in those rooms if we don’t have to,” Saulman said.

The commissioners are looking at continuing to have a call-in option during upcoming meetings.

Also during the commissioners’ teleconference meeting Monday evening, Greg Reas, director of the county’s Emergency Management Agency, told the board he had driven a few counties west to pick up his order of masks in Washington.

Reas said he was pleased with the facility and the product but only picked up half of his order, adding he thought the prices of the remaining masks would likely go down in the near future.