Visitors to the Ste. Genevieve County Courthouse must call ahead and make an appointment before entering, to guard against the spread of the COVID-19 virus.
In addition to going through a metal detector, visitors now need to have their temperature taken to gain entry, after making an appointment.
Following a court order by 24th Circuit judges Wendy Wexler Horn and Timothy Inman, the Ste. Genevieve County Commission last Thursday agreed to reconfirm and update a March 2017 county ordinance on infectious diseases.
It outlines a protocol for entering the building, based on Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) guidelines. A battery of questions will be asked, including whether the person has traveled to a foreign country within 14 days or been in close contact with someone who has, whether they have been asked to self-quarantine and whether they have been diagnosed with COVID-19.
Deputies in the courthouse foyer will also administer a digital forehead screening to determine body temperature.
Anyone with “unexplained fever, cough or shortness of breath” also will be denied entry.
Sandra Bell, executive director of the Ste. Genevieve County Health Department, last week urged the commissioners to take those steps. She and Felix Meyer, the county’s emergency management director, were both in attendance last Thursday.
Bell felt the county was staying ahead of the crisis, with many businesses enacting policies on their own that limit congregations of people and other potential virus-spreading activities.
“A lot of people in the county are doing what’s right,” Bell said.
See complete coverage in the March 25 edition of the Herald.