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Upshur County closes facilities after emergency meeting

BUCKHANNON — The Upshur County Courthouse called its second emergency meeting of the week Wednesday, this time to close the Upshur County Courthouse, annex and other county-owned facilities to the public due to a rise in COVID-19 cases.

Eighty-two COVID-19 cases were reported active Wednesday. The exception to the closures will be the James W. Curry Library’s Virtual School Program which will remain open.

In discussing the Curry Library at Brooks Hill, county administrator Carrie Wallace told the commission the virtual program has around 10 kids per day with five different families alternating.

“They do count on that facility for internet access to get their virtual school done,” she said.

Commission president Terry Cutright said, “They are kind of isolated up there so I would like to keep Curry open.”

At the courthouse, offices will remain staffed and available to serve the public by appointment or by phone, email, mail and online. Some employees will transition to telework.

Commissioner Sam Nolte moved to close for a two-week block of time until Oct. 21 – the day that Early Voting is supposed to start ahead of the General Election. Commissioner Kristie Tenney seconded the motion which passed unanimously.

Cutright added, “At minimum, we will open for early voting.”

County Clerk Carol Smith asked about the public testing for voting equipment scheduled for Thursday, Oct. 15 at 9 a.m. in the hallway of the county clerk’s office.

“Would we still be able to do that?” she asked.

Nolte said, “Yes, they would just have to wear a mask and properly social distance.”

The last day to register to vote is Tuesday, Oct. 13 and court security officers can accept various voter documents at the front doors of the courthouse.

Today, the Upshur County Commission is set to hear the second reading of the Suddenlink Franchise Renewal ordinance but the public and press are asked to attend by teleconference. Call 1-717-275-8940 or 1-712-832-8330 and enter access code 898 8882 to join the meeting.

Tax payments should be mailed or submitted via the drop box in Chancery Street or paid online at www.upshurcounty.org. Court security officers in the annex will be available to accept cash and provide receipts. DMV matters will be handled by appointment only, according to the press release.

In a press release, the commission stated it will continue to assess COVID-19 cases daily and will reconsider operations of the county facilities weekly.

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