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Courthouse re-opened with new rules

The Chilton County Courthouse’s doors are once again open to the public following a passed resolution by the Commission during its May 12 meeting.

The courthouse had been closed for about eight weeks prior to its reopening on May 13.

However, the Commission agreed upon several arrangements and rules that will be implemented.

These rules include only allowing in senior citizens (60 years or older) and handicapped individuals for the first hour from 8-9 a.m., as those groups are classified as being prone to a “higher risk” of symptoms if the coronavirus was contracted.

Commission Chairman Joseph Parnell hinted that the allotted time for those with “higher risk” could be increased to two hours prior to the general opening if needed.

The rest of the general public will be allowed to enter at 9 a.m., while the courthouse will close at 4 p.m. Monday through Friday.

EMA Director Derrick Wright created the operations plan following a meeting with Parnell, which included the pair touring the courthouse facilities and talking to each department head about possible input.

The courthouse will follow Gov. Kay Ivey’s lead and allow no more than half of its designated full capacity at any time.

People with symptoms will not be allowed into the building, and the practice of social distancing and keeping a 6-foot distance will continue to be asked of everyone entering the courthouse.

Gloves and masks will be provided to all employees, but will be used at each employee’s discretion.

Some employees have chosen the option to use hand sanitizer regularly rather than working with gloves on.

Spot and surface cleaning will be required to be done every 30 minutes, and the clerks will have the responsibility of keeping their work areas clean.

Anybody searching the records room will be required to wear gloves while handling the books and computers.

However, individuals will not be allowed gloves they brought with them into the courthouse. They will have to wear the gloves provided by the courthouse.

“We don’t want any cross-contamination,” Parnell said. “We have a duty to our employees and the public.”

The courthouse’s new rules will be posted at the main entrance of the building.