POMEROY — The Meigs County Courthouse will reopen to the public on Tuesday with new safety and security measures in place.
Common Pleas Court Judge Linda Warner, along with Clerk of Courts Sammi Mugrage, met with the Meigs County Commissioners during Thursday’s regular meeting to discuss the reopening and steps to be put in place.
Judge Warner explained that there will be a single entry point to the courthouse where individuals entering will be screened for COVID-19 symptoms, as well as have their bags or personal items checked as part of new security measures.
“All persons wishing to enter the building will report to the ground floor entrance, where the elevator is located. Any person entering will be screened for security, safety, contraband, weapons and COVID-19 symptoms and risks before persons are allowed access to the building,” stated Warner in a prepared news release.Anyone with COVID-19 symptoms will not be permitted to enter the building.
“All persons entering the building must show photo identification and provide a current physical and mailing address, phone number and email for potential contact tracing,” added Warner. She stated that the information would only be used should contact need to be made with the individual in the event someone they came in contact with at the courthouse would ultimately test positive for COVID-19.
Once the person has been screened, the person will receive a visitor pass or sticker and then permitted to go to the desired area of the courthouse. If there are already people in that office, the person may be asked to wait in a waiting area or their vehicle until space is available.
The person at the screening station will control the number of persons permitted in the various office areas at any given time to avoid congestion and too many people being physically close for any extended period of time.
Warner stated that the plan will be to hire two part-time people to work in the screening area.Warner said she hopes to have OPOTA certified individuals who would also serve as security for the courthouse. The positions will be supervised by Common Please Court.
Modifications are taking place to the entry area to allow for social distancing in the screening area, as well as a small waiting area. Once fully up and running, the plan is to have a metal detector and other screening equipment in place.
As the courthouse reopens to the public, Mugrage asked that people coming to the courthouse be patient with staff as this is a new process.
“We are doing the best we can while protecting the public and our employees. We want to be able to serve you,” said Mugrage.
A limited amount of masks may be available for use, but individuals who have masks are asked to wear them when coming to the courthouse. Hand sanitizer stations are also being planned in the courthouse.
To help with social distancing, areas of the courthouse are being marked for six feet of distance, including hallways and chairs.
More on the changes made, including technology advancements in Common Pleas Court, will appear in an upcoming edition of The Daily Sentinel.
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Sarah Hawley is the managing editor of The Daily Sentinel.