City hall, local courtrooms, other public facilities easing coronavirus restrictions

Most government office buildings will not longer require masks or temperature checks.

Local government offices are beginning to ease coronavirus measures, which are generally in line with new guidelines initiated by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and then by Gov. Andy Beshear

Masks and temperature checks are no longer required at the Hopkinsville Municipal Center or other city buildings, officials in Mayor Wendell Lynch’s office said Wednesday. 

The city’s new policy makes no distinction between people who are vaccinated and those who are not; however, the CDC’s guidance says people who are not fully vaccinated should continue to wear a mask and maintain social distance until they are vaccinated. 

“Those who wish to continue wearing face coverings may do so at their discretion,” the city’s news release states. “Individuals experiencing COVID-19 symptoms should not enter city buildings. Rather, they are strongly encouraged to seek appropriate medical attention.”

Hopkinsville City Council and Committee of the Whole meetings will be conducted in-person without social distancing, according to a news release from the city. Meeting videos will continue to be available on the city’s website

The same policies will apply to two agencies housed in the municipal center — Community and Development Services and the Hopkinsville Human Rights Commission

Christian County Health Department

In many situations, the Christian County Health Department will continue to require masks at its facility on Canton Street, County Health Director Kayla Bebout told Hoptown Chronicle. 

People who are not vaccinated must wear a mask when they are around others in the building, she said. 

Also when staff are face-to-face with patients or clients, they must wear a mask, and masks will be required in common areas, she said. 

Christian County Justice Center

Local courtrooms and the the Christian Circuit Clerk’s offices are following guidance from the Kentucky Supreme Court, according to a Facebook post by Christian District Judge Foster Cotthoff

The clerk’s office opened to the public Wednesday, and the district, circuit and family courtrooms will open to participants in cases on Monday, May 24. In addition, the courts will continue to allow participants to appear remotely through a Zoom feed.

Masks are “strongly encouraged” for anyone who has not been vaccinated, but court officials will not require written proof of vaccination for those who do not want to wear a mask, said Cotthoff. 

Christian County Courthouse

The Christian County Courthouse will continue to limit access through the front entrance, and a sheriff’s deputy will still monitor the number of people allowed inside at one time, Deputy County Clerk Melinda Humphries told Hoptown Chronicle. 

“That’s just to keep the employees and the customers from being on top of each other,” Humphries said. “The hallway can get congested.”

The courthouse has more day-to-day foot traffic than city hall because it is where residents renew and transfer vehicle tags, check on property deeds, register to vote, apply for passports and conduct other business. For that reason, officials expect to continue limiting the number of people in the building.

Masks and temperature checks will not be required in the courthouse, said Humphries. 

Lines are more likely to form at the end and start of each month because people delay renewing vehicle tags until the last minute, or later. 

COVID-19 infections between September and December forced officials to close the courthouse three times and to close two of the clerk’s offices another time.

(Jennifer P. Brown is the editor and founder of Hoptown Chronicle. Reach her at editor@hoptownchronicle.org.)

City hall, local courtrooms, other public facilities easing coronavirus restrictions

Jennifer P. Brown

Jennifer P. Brown is the founder and editor of Hoptown Chronicle. You can reach her at editor@hoptownchronicle.org.

COVID-19 in Christian County

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