Tillamook County Board of Commissioners voted to close the courthouse during an emergency meeting Monday, Nov. 23, after the commissioner’s office was alerted earlier in the afternoon that an employee in an office in the courthouse tested positive for COVID-19. The board will reassess Monday, Nov. 30, whether it is safe for employees to return to work at the courthouse.
Hagerty said the commissioner’s office was alerted that the courthouse has a positive case within an office of the courthouse. McCraw said the individual has had public tracing and those individuals needing to quarantine have been notified.
Gordon McCraw, incident command, said public health has conducted contact tracing on the individual.
“The people who needed to be quarantined have been notified,” McCraw said. “They’ll be quarantined for two weeks.”
These individuals are to notify the health department if they develop any symptoms.
Commission Chair Bill Baertlein said if the board chose to close only one or two departments in the courthouse, this might run the risk of identifying the individual. McCraw said in a small county like Tillamook, any small amount of information could identify the person because of the tightness of the community.
“This is out of an abundance of caution,” Commissioner David Yamamoto said.
The commissioners will be working hard over the next couple of days to figure out what the best practices are, Yamamoto added. Circuit court does need to operate.
“We’re going to need to have deputies on staff at the front door and let people in as needed to go to circuit court,” Yamamoto said.
Justice court has been holding meetings remotely and can continue with that. They will not be able to process payments with the closure. Their plan is to have people set up arrangements to make payments next week.
The commissioners voted and agreed to close the courthouse until the morning of Monday, Nov. 30. They will notify courthouse staff of plans moving forward. Circuit court will be potentially open pending further discussion.