BUCKHANNON — Upshur County Administrator Carrie Wallace announced that the reopening of the Courthouse has been postponed until Monday, May 18. However, this date is subject to change depending on directives received from Governor Justice. With the anticipation of this date, the governmental facilities will need to be cleaned thoroughly prior to opening for the public.
Due to this need, Wallace requested the temporary part-time employment of McKinley Gaudet and Amber Powers, effective Thursday, May 7. Gaudet and Powers will begin work on Monday, May 11. The new temporary employees will divide shifts to cover eight hours of work on Monday and Tuesday, Wednesday morning for four hours, Wednesday afternoon for four hours, and eight hours Thursday and Friday. Gaudet and Powers will provide additional sanitation efforts at the Courthouse and Annex deemed necessary due to COVID-19. Their wages will be charged to the Governor’s COVID-19 Block Grant.
When facilities do re-open, there is a lengthy list of guidelines that the staff and public will be required and/or suggested to follow before entering the buildings. For example, staff will be required to wear masks and gloves. Plexiglass will be placed in locations where permanent glass does not exist. The maximum occupancy of the elevator will be two people. The public is suggested to wear masks and they will be provided upon entry of the Courthouse and Annex if needed.
Circuit Court Judge Jacob Reger stated that they will be prohibited from having a Grand Jury convene until June 15 and cannot hold a jury trial until June 29. Also, jury selection will be postponed until July 20.
County Commissioners will meet again May 14 – setting for the meeting is yet to be determined. Although Commissioners are hopeful for a face-to-face meeting, they will wait until a later date to make this decision.
Commissioner Sam Nolte expressed appreciation for everyone hanging in there. “It’s been an awkward time for everyone,” he stated.