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Preston courthouse to ease entry restrictions

KINGWOOD — Entry restrictions will ease Monday at the Preston County Courthouse Annex, but people are still asked to follow social distancing and other guidelines.

Requirements to enter the courthouse may differ, as it falls under the guidance of the State Supreme Court.

 Preston County has had   19 confirmed cases, five probable cases and two deaths, Preston Health Department Director V.J. Davis told the county commission Monday.

 “We have 22 people who have recovered, and we have zero active cases,” Davis said. “This is the first time since this has started we have had zero active.”

The last positive case was two weeks ago. A total of 1,922, about 6.4% of the county population, have been tested for COVID-19.

“The thing that we’re trying to stress right at this point in time is for people not to become lackadaisical. We’re seeing some good signs at this point, but we still want people to be very cautious,” Davis said. “We still want people to wear masks when you’re indoors, maintain six feet, because we don’t want to see a resurgence like we’re seeing in other parts of the country.”

Commissioner Samantha Stone urged anyone traveling for vacation to “use caution, that way you’re not bringing it back.” Davis said self-quarantine is not required after traveling but isn’t a bad idea.

County Administrator Kathy Mace reported on the changes to admittance to the annex. People are being asked to continue social distancing in the building and to wear a mask.

“The public has been wonderful. They know what to do and followed that request, and I think they will continue to do that,” she said. “If things would change and numbers would go up, we might have to go back to the screenings” of temperature and medical questions.

The commission will continue to stream meetings on Facebook, even after people are allowed back into the meetings. Appointments will be staggered to avoid overcrowding the meeting room.

Commissioners also renewed a memorandum of understanding with the Preston County Board of Education to provide a deputy at Preston High as school resource officer. The board pays Cpl. M.A. Lewis’s salary while he is at the school.

 Commission ended its contract with Johnson Controls, of Pennsylvania, and contracted with H.E. Neumann, of West Virginia, for HVAC services at the courthouse. Johnson provided a controller that was a proprietary system, Mace said. Neumann will install a Honeywell unit that can be serviced by many companies.

There is a one-time fee of $11,000 to make the switch. Annual fee of $5,000 to Johnson will end.

Commissioner Don Smith was reappointed to the county solid waste management board for a term ending June 30, 2024.

Applicants are being sought to fill a vacancy on the Community Corrections Board. Anyone interested should call 304-329-1805.

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