BUCKHANNON – The Upshur County Commission voted Thursday to reopen the courthouse Monday Oct. 26 in accordance with its regular COVID-19 operations.
The commission made the decision during the Oct. 22 county commission meeting, after having most county facilities closed to due to high COVID-19 case numbers. Commissioner Kristie Tenney said facilities should reopen because case numbers were down.
“Currently, with the numbers and percentage being where they are and we are coming up on the end of the month, I think it would be nice if we could open back up,” Tenney said. “Since it’s the end of the month, it would be nice if the tax office and the assessor’s office was open.”
Tenney did ask if Upshur County Clerk Carol Smith wanted to keep her office on an appointment-only basis due to early voting, but Smith said she would rather her office reopen as well.
Early voting started Oct. 21 and goes through Saturday, Oct. 31 at the Upshur County Courthouse located at 40 West Main Street. Office hours for early voting are 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. during the week and 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Saturdays.
Commissioners voted Oct. 5 to approve a new policy that would limit the courthouse and other county properties to essential business only when the WVDE school map shows Upshur County as red. The school map refers to the West Virginia Department of Education’s School Alert System: Saturday Education Map that is released for the week at 5 p.m. each Saturday, but county administrator Carrie Wallace said the county was green during the Oct. 22 meeting, so they doubted it would be red on Saturday.
“I can tell you if for some reason we’re red on the school map, then I’d say they’re going to have another meeting,” Wallace said. “What they voted on today was that the courthouse would reopen on Monday, and we’re green, so it would be pretty difficult to go all the way back to red at this point.”
The commissioners reiterated people should try to conduct any business that can be accomplished over the phone or online. Tenney made the motion to reopen county facilities Monday and commissioner Sam Nolte seconded the motion, which passed unanimously.
Free COVID-19 testing will be offered from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Friday, Oct. 23 in the Buckhannon-Upshur High School parking lot.
Here’s a handy list of numbers:
- For emergencies: Dial 911
- Assessor: 304-472-4650
- Circuit Clerk: 304-472-2370
- Circuit Court: 304-472-5556 / 304-472-0195
- Commission: 304-472-0535
- County Clerk: 304-472-1068
- E911 Communications Center: 304-472-9550
- Department of Homeland Security and Emergency Management: 304-472-4983
- Family Court: 304-472-1065 / 304-269-0432
- Floodplain/Building Permits: 304-472-1673
- Magistrate Clerk: 304-472-2053
- Sheriff’s Department: 304-472-1182
- Tax Office/Fire Fee: 304-472-1180