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Courthouse to limit access

By Greg Bird
birdman@tmcvoice.com

McCreary County elected officials met Tuesday morning to discuss what steps to take to protect the citizens and workers in the Courthouse. With the uncertainty of how long state offices will remain open, the officials decided to remain open as normal, but limit access to the building.
Effective Wednesday, until further notice, all courthouse offices will remain open and staffed, but will be limiting in-person access to lessen the risk of potential spread of the virus.
Judge Executive Jimmie Greene urges citizens to call ahead to see if the trip is needed.
Courthouse security personnel will be stationed at the front door to act as liaisons between the public and offices. No citizens will be allowed to enter the courthouse except on essential business.
It should be noted the state has suspended all drivers license and vehicle registration for the time being, offering a waiver to allow for later renewals.
Judge Greene has declared a state of emergency in McCreary County, adding to the declarations made by Governor Andy Beshear and President Donald Trump. The declaration will make it possible for county agencies to have access to state and federal resources to deal with the effects of the virus.
Other County agencies, such as the Sheriff, EMS, 911 and Road Department will remain open as usual and provide service as needed.
Sheriff Randy Waters, who took part in a nation-wide conference call Monday with officials from the Department of Homeland Security and FEMA, said he and his staff will continue to patrol and respond to calls, but have been asked to use caution and common sense when interacting with the public. His staff has access to gloves and other personal protection devices, and will use them when they feel it is necessary.
The Sheriff added he will try to make arrests only when warranted, such as felony offenses or the individual is exhibiting signs that they could be a threat to harm themselves or others. All other instances, he said, citations will be issued – calling the individual to court at a later date.
EMS/911 Director Jimmy Barnett also said his crews are prepared to continue operating as normal for now, with adequate personal protection equipment available should need arise.

The McCreary County Road Department, under Tony Kidd, will also remain fully staffed and ready to perform road work where necessary. Kidd said his crews have been disinfecting the office and equipment on a daily basis to prevent the virus from infecting the staff.

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