Saline County Commissioners voted March 17 to close the Saline County Courthouse to the public indefinitely beginning March 18 in an attempt to prevent the spread of COVID-19, also known as coronavirus. Employees and staff will still be able to work and offices will function online as much as possible.
"I just don't want this to come back as, 'You had the chance to do something and you didn't,'" Commissioner Stephanie Krivohlavek said.
Commissioners met for over two hours with department officials from Public Health Solutions via telephone. The meeting, held in the district courtroom also included Wilber mayor Roger Chrans, Wilber-Clatonia superintendent Ray Collins, Saline County Sheriff Alan Moore, Crete Police Chief Steve Hensel, Saline/Jefferson county emergency manager John McKee and many others in person.
According to the officials at Public Health Solutions, there are five COVID-19 tests that have been ran from the county and are waiting back on results.
Department heads discussed ways they could interact with the public and still perform duties. Many said they were willing to limit as much traffic as possible and are willing to adjust in whatever ways that can be made.
For those who need to register plates or obtain a license, the Nebraska Department of Motor Vehicles office is looking at ways that can be done online or information can be filled out over the phone.
The board issued guidelines that if an employee is not feeling well or has a sick family member at home, they should stay home. Commissioners agreed that if an employee is tested for COVID-19 and tests positive, sick leave would not be used during the recovery time and they would still be paid.
If an employee is tested and the results come back negative or they are ill but not tested at all, paid leave would apply.
The courthouse will be open, just not accessible to the public. For questions or concerns, contact the courthouse at (402) 821-2374 or visit its website at co.saline.ne.gov.