The Hardy County Commission met in special session on Wednesday, March 18 to declare a State of Preparedness and authorize the Office of Emergency Management to “mobilize appropriate personnel and resources as necessary to respond if an Emergency Declaration is declared by the State of West Virginia.”
According to Paul Lewis, director of the Hardy County OEM, a declaration means he can access resources from the state to maintain order. “I’ve already requisitioned personal protective equipment for first responders and the nursing home,” he said.
“This means we are going to take precautions,” said Commissioner David Workman. “We will continue to provide services, but we are taking measures to protect our citizens and the courthouse employees.”
Until further notice, anyone entering the Hardy County Courthouse will be asked to provide a photo ID, their name, phone number and their destination within the courthouse.
“Their ID will be photographed with a time stamp and those images will be kept in a secure location,” Commission President Harold Michael said. “This is in case we need to trace back. If someone tests positive for the COVID-19 virus, we can determine who they’ve been in contact with.”
Individuals entering the courthouse will also be asked if they are feeling well, do they have a fever, cough or shortness of breath.
Michael also said county officials are making arrangements to have a trailer outside the courthouse so visitors can conduct business without entering the courthouse.
“We’re asking the public not to come into the courthouse,” Michael said. “We want to minimize risk to them and the courthouse employees. In most cases, they won’t have to leave their vehicle.”
The trailer will be located in the visitor’s parking lot on Washington Street.
Sheriff Bryan Ward said there may be some adjustments to traffic patterns around the courthouse, especially on Washington Street.
The commission also issued a statement asking county residents to use online tools to conduct business. Links to all county offices can be found at www.hardycounty.com.
In addition, various county offices can be reached by telephone at the following numbers:
County Commission 304-530-0284
County Clerk – 304-530-0250
Circuit Clerk – 304-530-0230
Sheriff’s Office – 304-530-0222
Tax Office – 304-530-0220
Planning Office – 304-530-0257
Prosecutor Office 304-530-0200
Assessor’s Office – 304-530-0202
Ambulance Fee – 304-530-0256
For all emergencies, please call 911.
Hardy County Health Department Administrator Bill Ours said the public should exercise common sense.
“Stay home, if you can,” he said. “People do not need to hoard. The grocery store shelves are being restocked. Wash your hands and maintain that six-foot distance between you and other people.”
Ours also recommended checking on neighbors who might need help with groceries or medicines while they are in isolation or quarantined.
“If we’re going to help the community, the community needs to help us,” he said. “We need to do what we do best and that’s help each other.”