Video: Eastland County Commissioners’ Meeting April 13, 2020

An item on Monday’s Eastland County Commissioners’ meeting agenda brought up the discussion of closing the courthouse for two weeks.

Commissioner, Andy Maxwell brought up the concern for county employees who, because of their jobs or age, are at a higher risk of contracting COVID-19 and suggested closing the courthouse for two weeks.

Commissioner Robert Rains stated that elected officials over departments currently have the ability to make the call on whether to send their employees home or not. The county is required to continue to pay any employees who are sent home on “administrative leave”.

Judge Fields stated “We can’t just stop doing the business of the county”. By closing offices “we would have to put things on hold that can’t stay on hold very long”, he said.

Currently, the courthouse is not open to walk-in traffic. Paperwork is handled only through mail or using a dropbox system set up just inside the lobby of the courthouse. Judge Fields recommended departments use personal protective equipment (PPE) including masks, hand sanitizer, and gloves. County Clerk, Cathy Jentho mentioned they had been using Lysol aerosol spray on all incoming paperwork, but they have run out and are unable to acquire any more.

Eastland County District Attorney, Russ Thomason said that he already has some employees in his department working from home.

Cathy Jentho suggested that department heads get together and work to be consistent with plans to protect employees.