County and state governments begin to re-open
SHEPHERDSTOWN — As Gov. Jim Justice and state officials move forward with limited re-opening of businesses and facilities around the state, local and state government offices also are moving ahead with plans to allow public access.
Beginning this week, Jefferson County government offices will open on a limited basis, most with an appointment required.
Commissioners approved a return-to-work plan at their last meeting, which include the appointment-needed movement, as well as some offices that will follow suggested social distancing guidelines.
Employees and members of the public will also have to comply with guidelines recommended by the state Department of Health and Human Resources that could include having a temperature scan and having to answer general health questions.
The plan, focusing on the safety of both employees and the public, lists such questions as whether one has experienced a recent fever, new cough, shortness of breath or another flu-like symptom that has been linked to COVID-19.
“If an employee answers ‘yes’ to any of the questions, we would send them home and ask them to contact a medical provider,” said Stephanie Grove, county administrator.
The plan provides the option for employees to continue to work remotely if their job allows. In cases where on-site work is necessary and interaction with others is required, the plan calls for employees to frequently wash hands and sanitize their areas.
County employees are encouraged to wear masks when in common areas, and members of the public will be asked to do wear masks as well. While these measures are only encouraged, it should be noted that anyone entering the Judicial Center is required to wear a mask as ordered by Circuit Court Judge David Hammer.
The West Virginia Division of Motor Vehicles, that has been closed throughout the COVID-19 pandemic, is now open for appointment-only interactions with the public. Those who are able to complete transactions online are encouraged to continue to do so; however, appointments are being taken for those who must handle their business in person.
Individuals may make appointments online at transportation.wv.gov for certain types of transactions, including driver testing, knowledge testing and driver’s license or identification transactions.
Members of the public are encouraged to conduct their business with as little immediate contact as necessary, continuing to make use of such things as drop boxes, online systems and email. The county and state offices will post to their respective websites the opening or partial opening of their offices.