The Anderson County Courthouse in Clinton is closed today (Monday, March 23) after an employee in the University of Tennessee Agriculture Extension Office tested positive for the COVID-19 virus on Sunday.
Anderson County Mayor Terry Frank was notified of the positive diagnosis late Sunday afternoon, a press release said.
Monday’s closure only affects the Courthouse, and it is not a full closure of county government operations. Other county government offices—for example, the Jolley Building, old DARC building (on Emory Valley Road in Oak Ridge), the Animal Shelter, and the recycling center—will continue to operate with modifications in place, according to guidance from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Tennessee Governor Bill Lee, and the Tennessee Department of Health, the press release said. Visit www.anderson-county.com for up to date information on operations.
The one-day closure will give Anderson County’s Buildings and Grounds team time to disinfect the building more heavily than what is already being done, the press release said.
According to Laura Clark, Family and Consumer Sciences Agent and County director, the Extension Office staff have been advised by the University of Tennessee to follow the Health Department’s advisory to self-quarantine for 14 days from the date of exposure. The employee had last been in the Extension Office on March 16 and 17. Clark told Frank, the county mayor, that the UT Extension Office, which is located in the Courthouse, will be closed and remain closed in conjunction with their quarantine.
Anderson County Health Department Director Charles Turner confirmed to Mayor Frank Sunday afternoon that the Health Department is in the process of notifying anyone who may have had contact with the employee.
“Closing the primary Courthouse building provides additional time for the Buildings and Grounds Department to thoroughly clean and disinfect according to CDC guidance,” Frank said in a press release Sunday evening.
Anderson County government offices have already implemented practices to limit person-to-person contact. Citizens have been advised to call ahead to ask if their business may be handled over the phone or electronically. Information related to what county government offices are doing to contain the spread of COVID-19, can be found online at www.anderson-county.com.
“As many of you know and are watching yourselves, changes surrounding COVID-19 are occurring daily, and sometimes hour to hour,” Frank said. “I have been in touch with Human Resource and Risk Management Director Kim Jeffers-Whitaker, Buildings Director Roger Lloyd, and Health Department Director Charles Turner regarding this notice of diagnosis and the subsequent plan to address. We are taking extra precautions.”
As information and guidance are coming in from state and local officials, changes will be made as necessary, the press release said. Any further changes will be announced to the public as quickly as possible.
More information will be added as it becomes available.
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