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Courthouse visitors should expect temperature checks

Garland “Bubba” Evely, David Hawk, Eric Carroll, Mitzi Bowen and Rusty Crowe display a no-touch thermometer that will be used at the Unicoi County Courthouse. (Contributed photo)

By Richard Rourk

The Unicoi County Courthouse continues to take safety precautions to keep citizens and employees safe.

According to Unicoi County Mayor Garland “Bubba” Evely, all offices have remained open during this pandemic with changes.

“We will continue to have one entrance into the courthouse, which is located in the back of the building,” Evely said.

Unicoi County Clerk Mitzi Bowen is one of those offices that have made some minor changes. “During this pandemic, we have encouraged anyone who could to utilize online services,” Bowen said. “People are using the online tools, which is good. Things like a driver’s license renewal can be done quickly online. We also have had curbside service on a number of items that are urgent.”

Bowen acknowledged that there are numerous safety precautions being done by the Unicoi County employees.

“We are keeping all of the office doors shut, we are wearing masks, using hand sanitizer and disinfecting every surface,” Bowen said. “We will also be adding a layer of glass in the office. We are doing everything we have been advised to do from the health department.”

One other tool that Bowen is using to combat the spread of COVID-19 is a thermometer.

“We will do a temperature check on everyone entering the building,” Bowen said. “We first reached out to (State) Representative David Hawk, who got me in touch with Ballad Health. From there (State) Senator Rusty Crowe brought me a no-touch thermometer and it was brought for me to use in our office. After speaking with the mayor, we decided that we would do temperature checks as everyone enters the one entrance that is open to the courthouse.”

According to Bowen, most offices, including hers, are going to only allow for a limited number of customers at a time.

“As we move forward, we will only take in two customers at a time and they will need to be wearing a mask,” Bowen said.

Bowen is thankful for everyone doing their part to keep both customers and employees safe during this pandemic.

“(Unicoi County Hospital Administrator) Eric Carroll has reached out to us and is looking to secure more thermometers, which have become scarce during this pandemic,” Bowen said. “Senator Crowe and Representative Hawk have been so supportive in seeking out our needs and everyone is doing an excellent job of keeping a safe environment. We really appreciate the public’s understanding during these unprecedented times.”

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