Chief Superior Court Judge J. Bryant Durham has signed the order closing the Floyd County Courthouse through Sunday, June 21, with tentative plans to reopen on Monday, June 22. In the order, Durham touches on all the points posted here Sunday evening:
- Judges and staff of probate court.
- Almost all the staff of the clerk’s office already in quarantine.
- Sheriff’s deputies assigned to the courthouse.
- Two of four superior court judges and some of their staff are in quarantine.
- The presiding judge will be available daily for protective orders and related needs.
- First appearance hearings will continue via video from the Floyd County Jail.
- Juvenile court will operate remotely.
The signed order is below.
Also: 7 confirmed cases at the courthouse. That number has not changed since Saturday and was updated as of Monday afternoon. It could change as employees continue to get tests.
Look for an announcement on Monday morning that the Floyd County Courthouse will be closed for two weeks.
Hometown Headlines has confirmed at least two judges, their staffs, the clerk’s office, probate court and sheriff’s deputies assigned to the courthouse are being quarantined as an outbreak continues.
As of Saturday, seven courthouse staffers — four in superior court and three in probate court — had tested positive. Others have been ordered to be tested before returning to work.
The courthouse already had been closed Monday through Wednesday again this week. The new order will close the courthouse most likely until Monday, June 22.
Floyd County has seen an increase from 281 to 323 positive tests since Wednesday.
We’ll post the update as soon as it is released.
As of Saturday, a total of seven employees at the Floyd County Courthouse including four in Superior Court Clerk’s office and three in Probate Court office have tested positive, according to Logan Boss, spokesman with Northwest Georgia Public Health District. Boss said many of the employees were asymptomatic but some are now exhibiting some symptoms. “It is likely we will see that number increase,” he says. “It is my understanding that they will retest everyone on Monday. Employees cannot return to work until they test negative.”
Floyd County Courthouse closed next Monday-Wednesday because of COVID-19 outbreak:
Superior Court Judge J. Bryant Durham has ordered the courthouse closed after business Friday through next Thursday morning after additional cases have been found in the clerk’s and probate court offices. Emergency court matters will be conducted at the Forum. Also, all courthouse personnel must be tested by Monday and must have a “negative” result before returning to work.
As of 1:25 p.m. Friday, two additional positive tests have been reported among courthouse employees — a third one in the clerk’s office and a second in the probate court office.
From Floyd County:
As of 1:30 p.m., Friday, June 5, 2020, there have been three confirmed positive cases of COVID-19 in the Floyd County Clerk of Court’s office and two confirmed cases of COVID-19 in the office of the Floyd County Probate Court. The newly confirmed case of COVID-19 within the Office of the Clerk of Court has not worked in the office since Friday, May 29, 2020. As such, operations at the Judicial Center will remain opened with the exception of the Probate Court. Probate is scheduled to reopen Monday, June 9, 2020. All employees will be tested on Monday and cannot return to work until they have a negative test. The Courthouse Security Deputies will inquire at the front door if visitors are going to the Probate Court. If they are going to Probate Court for an emergency action, they will be directed to the Presiding Superior Court Judge. Gun licenses and other routine Probate Court procedures are not considered an emergency. Further announcements regarding the re-opening of the Probate Court will be made at the appropriate time.
Earlier Friday, from J. Bryant Durham, chief judge of Floyd County Superior Court:
“Late Thursday evening, we learned that a deputy clerk in Probate Court tested positive for the Covid-19 virus. Accordingly, the Probate Court will be closed today and Monday or until further notice. All employees will be tested on Monday and cannot return to work until they have a negative test. The Courthouse Security Deputies will inquire at the front door if visitors are going to the Probate Court. If they are going to Probate Court for an emergency action, they will be directed to the Presiding Superior Court Judge. Gun licenses and other routine Probate Court procedures are not considered an emergency. Further announcements regarding the re-opening of the Probate Court will be made at the appropriate time.”
A second employee at the Floyd County Judicial Center who works in the clerk’s office has tested positive for the coronavirus. Also late Thursday, it was confirmed another employee in probate court had tested positive.
The county confirms the new cases as well as another situation where an employee is getting a second test after the initial one was inconclusive.
The campus reopened on Thursday after being closed for three days when the original employee reported her diagnosis. All employees who had close contact with that employee had to be tested — and in turn receive negative results — before returning to work on Thursday.
The building was fogged and sanitized both Sunday and Wednesday nights. Also, the state Department of Public Health said 72 hours is the time needed for the virus to dissipate.
No additional closings have been announced.
Thursday update: The judicial center is reopening today.
Floyd County media release: The Superior Court is tasked with the responsibility of determining the safe operation of the Floyd County Courthouse and the courts and offices located there. As we all know we are experiencing a pandemic that has put additional pressure on the delivery of services.
Recently, there was a clerk in the Clerk of Superior Court’s office who tested positive for COVID-19. In consultation with the local public health authorities, the county government and the Office of the Sheriff, we have taken steps to keep the courthouse safe and ensure basic services are provided as required by the order of the Chief Justice of the Georgia Supreme Court. These include the fogging of the courthouse by the Sheriff’s Office, the closing of the courthouse for Monday through Wednesday of this week and encouraging all employees to get tested for the virus.
In accordance with the guidelines set by the CDC and other appropriate authorities, those employees who have had close contact with the affected employee — as defined by the public health authorities — will be required to have a test with a negative result before reentering the building. All other employees and the public will be allowed to reenter on Thursday at 9 a.m.
For those needing to take out Family Violence Petitions and Temporary Protective Orders these may be obtained from the sheriff deputies in front of the courthouse. A judge will be available in the tent in front of the courthouse at 3 p.m. to issue the appropriate orders. Judge Richardson will continue to hold first appearance hearings and bond matters by video with inmates in custody. If you were scheduled for a hearing in any court, you may contact the appropriate court for rescheduling.
We appreciate the cooperation of the Probate Court, Juvenile Court and Magistrate Court during this time as well as the county leaders, the Sheriff and the Clerk’s office.