Ellsworth County commissioners took action Wednesday morning to help prevent the eventual spread of the coronavirus in Ellsworth County.
First, a resolution was approved declaring a verbal public health emergency in Ellsworth County. The resolution prohibits public gatherings of more than 50 people for 60 days, unless rescinded beforehand by the commissioners. At the end of the 60 days, commissioners will review the resolution based on the situation at that time.
Second, commissioners approved the closing of the Ellsworth County Courthouse to the public as of noon Wednesday until further notice. County employees will still be in their offices. However, signs will be posted on each individual office door advising the public they will not be allowed to enter those offices under any circumstances. The signs will also provide a telephone number for the public to call for questions, specific service and more information.
Kerianne Ehrlich, county health supervisor, said the goal of the state is to “flatten the curve” of possible infections due to the virus.
“If we can flatten it and spread it out over a period of time rather than have a huge spike all of a sudden, our healthcare field is going to be able to handle the situation verses getting flooded with hundreds of people at our hospitals,” she said. “It’s not just Ellsworth County — all of the little counties around us — they cannot handle more than what their really bedded for right now.”
The offices of the Court of the 20th Judicial District will remain open to the public until further notice from the state.
The county noxious weed office, the county EMS headquarters, the county sheriff’s office, and the county road and bridge headquarters will all be closed to the public as of noon Wednesday until further notice. The public can call or email those individual offices if they have questions or need assistance.
EMS ambulance crews will still make ambulance runs.
The Sheriff’s Office is looking at options, said Sheriff Murray Marston, but the office will be closed to the public.
The Ellsworth County commissioners will still meet with the public Monday mornings.
Those coming to dump items at the Ellsworth County Landfill remain in their vehicles. Signs will be posted at the landfill providing additional information.
The Ellsworth County Recycling building will remain open for the public to place recycling in.
City offices also closed
Several city offices in Ellsworth County have also closed their offices to the public as of noon Wednesday until further notice. These include Ellsworth (all city buildings) and Wilson.
The March 23 meeting of the Ellsworth City Council will still take place, just not in person. Each council member will attend via conference call and the meeting will be live fed on Facebook.
The City of Kanopolis is remaining open to the public, said city clerk Debbie Kralik Monday.
Lorraine Mayor Kim Travnichek said the Lorraine City office will remain open to the public unless ordered to close.
The Holyrood City Office is closed to the public until further notice.