The Fremont County Commissioners and the majority of elected officials doing business at the Fremont County Courthouse discussed a mask mandate and changes to the current COVID procedures in the non-court side of the building today, November 17th.
It was decided to not move forward with a mask mandate or make any changes to the current procedures in the non-court portion of the building. The court regulations are set by the State – face masks and temperature checks are still required for entry. In addition, Circuit Court remains closed to the public.
Concerns were expressed during the discussion in regard to the increase in local COVID cases, and departments being understaffed if employees are quarantined. However, the cases that have occurred in departments seem to be isolated due to the internal mask or social distancing requirements.
Three of the five Commissioners, Co-Chair Larry Allen, Chair Travis Becker, and Jennifer McCarty, shared they do not think masks should be mandated – citing personal responsibility. Commissioners Mike Jones and Clarence Thomas were both in favor of taking the extra precautions.
Temperature checking was also floated as a screening precaution similar to what is done to enter the court portion of the building. Sheriff Ryan Lee shared that he does not have the staff to monitor an additional station. County Clerk Julie Freese also brought up the point of asymptomatic folks and temperatures are not always present.
For the time being, current protocols remain in effect. The ability to view meetings in the Courthouse, such as the Commissioners’, remotely will soon be an option.
County 10 will keep you updated with any changes in protocol.