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Jefferson County Courthouse taking precautions after possible COVID-19 case

SANITIZED — Jefferson County officials have taken steps to sanitize the courthouse out of “an abundance of caution” following reports of an employee’s possible COVID-19 case. (Photo by Michael D. McElwain)

STEUBENVILLE — A potential COVID-19 case has led to the Jefferson County Courthouse being sanitized.

County Commissioner Dave Maple confirmed Wednesday that the possibility of a case was behind the second floor of the courthouse being sanitized, and a decision to have the entire building cleansed.

“We were notified unofficially that an employee on the second floor is believed to have tested positive,” Maple said. “Out of an abundance of caution, we decided to have (the courthouse) cleaned.”

Contrary to other reports, no part of the facility was formally closed Wednesday, though some employees did go home and some offices operated at reduced capacity, Maple said.

He pointed out, contrary to rumors circulating, that the county had not been officially notified of a confirmed positive case in the building as of Wednesday afternoon and the building was not being shutdown, outside of its regular closing time at the end of regular business hours.

“We don’t know of anyone for sure having tested positive officially,” Maple said. “We’re taking precautions as we have in the past.”

Despite a case not being officially confirmed as of late Wednesday afternoon, the commissioners still opted to have the entire building cleaned by Apollo Pro Cleaning and Restoration after discussing the matter.

He noted that the courthouse and other county buildings have been routinely cleaned by the company throughout the pandemic.

Maple said the plan is for the courthouse to open today and the weekly meeting of the commissions to occur as scheduled.

A planned topic of that meeting, even prior to Wednesday’s events, he said, is going to be discussing moving some county employees back to remote work and re-implementing some similar measures taken in the past due to the reported rise in cases across the state.

“With the state news and national news, before this even happened, it was time to start talking about our departments encouraging as many people that can work from home, to work from home,” he said. “That was something we planned to discuss already before this happened.”

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