County working toward opening courthouse and other facilities

BY BARBARA ANNE GREENE 

The possible reopening of Big Horn County buildings was discussed at the May 19 meeting of the Big Horn County Commission. Clerk Lori Smallwood and Deputy County Attorney Jennifer Kirk also participated in the discussion.

The targeted opening date is Tuesday, May 26 — if all goes as planned. The county has a plan in place, which includes putting up plastic barriers in the treasurer’s, clerk’s and assessor’s offices before the opening. 

The public will need to enter through the back door of the courthouse to gain entry. At the back door, there will be a health screening station. At the station they will be asked five questions and their temperature will be taken. 

There will be signs throughout the county buildings reminding people to use social distancing. There will also be marks on the floor 6 feet apart to help with the social distancing. Hand sanitizer stations will be located outside of each office at the courthouse, as well as at the back door. Cleaning crews will be cleaning door handles/knobs frequently. 

The county encourages people to continue to make use of the drop boxes and mailing options when possible. Smallwood reiterated that the precautions are not to create hardships but rather to keep the public and staff healthy. She said services would be greatly impacted if one person in one department caught the virus. That could result in an entire department needing to shut down. 

Each of the other buildings will be using similar prevention and cleaning measures as appropriate to their traffic flow and public usage

The county response team was scheduled to meet Wednesday, May 20 to discuss resolution 2019-2020 #10, rescinding resolution 2019-2020 #9 (limitations of access to the courthouse and other county facilities). The commissioners adopted the resolution on May 19. The resolution could stop moving forward if there is an outbreak of COVID-19 in the county.

It was noted that the courts do not fall under this resolution; the Wyoming Supreme Court governs them. 

Each department head will decide if their staff will wear masks and gloves according to their interactions with customers. The public is encouraged to do so.

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