With Indiana moving forward with the Governor Eric Holcomb’s Back on Track plan, Warrick County officials are also taking steps to reopen some offices on a limited basis.
The commissioners passed a resolution to amend the previous order closing county offices to the public as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic to allow some business that has to be conducted in person. Commissioner Dan Saylor said public admittance will be limited to business that cannot be completed by email, phone, mail or dropbox.
Saylor said individuals will be required to wear a mask when in a county owned building, per the new resolution.
In preparation for taking steps to allow members of the public back in the county’s offices, the commissioners have worked to install plastic shields and purchase personal protective equipment to make available to employees. The Warrick County Council approved an expense of $42,500 from the county’s rainy day fund in their regular meeting on Thursday, May 7.
Warrick County Council president Greg Richmond said up to 75% of the expenses could be reimbursed through the COVID-19 emergency funds coming into the county.
Warrick County Attorney Todd Glass told the commissioners in their regular meeting on Monday, May 11, that some procedural provisions of the commissioner’s original order will be in effect until June 4. In addition, he said some provisions based on federal directives regarding employee leave will continue to be in effect through the end of this year.
Glass said the new resolution also ended workforce reduction plans for county offices as well.
While a spike in cases has been expected since the Back on Track plan took effect on Monday, May 4, Warrick County Health Department Director Aaron Franz said because most businesses remained closed last week, there has yet to be a large increase in coronavirus cases locally. He said there was also an increase expected because the county has been in a two week lag.
“We didn’t really have anything open up last week. It’s all opening this week,” he said. “There were a few more cases this weekend, but not a strong uptick.”
While stage two the Back on Track Indiana plan took effect on Monday, May 4, allowing retail businesses to open at half capacity, restaurants were allowed to open at half capacity beginning on Monday, May 11. In addition, personal services, such as hair salons, barber shops, nail salons and tattoo parlors, were set to open on Monday, May 11, as well.
However, personal services must be by appointment only with operational limitations per the Governor’s order. Employees are required to wear face coverings and workstations must be spaced to meet social distancing guidelines, according to the order.
Holcomb signs order extending BMV deadlinesHolcomb signed an executive order on Friday, May 8, to further extend Bureau of Motor Vehicles renewal deadlines.
According to a release, driver’s licenses, identification cards and vehicle registrations that expire prior to June 4 will now be valid through June 4. The release states that the executive order also extends the BMV’s deadlines for title transactions, salvage titles, and off-road vehicle and snowmobile titles.
Additionally, the release states that the executive order provides an extension to June 4 for anyone who has an expiring state-issued professional license or permit. According to the release, the order also ensures election workers will be able to collect their stipend without reducing their stipend without reducing their unemployment benefits in an effort to recruit poll workers for the upcoming primary election.