Community, Government, Latest News, Preston County

Preston courthouse annex to close three days for COVID-19 ‘deep cleaning’

KINGWOOD — The Preston County Courthouse Annex will be closed to walk-in traffic Monday through Wednesday to allow for “deep cleaning.”

According to a press release issued Thursday afternoon, “the Preston County Commission is seeing positive cases of COVID-19 in some employees, so in an abundance of caution, the Preston County Annex Building will be closed to walk in traffic Monday, Dec. 14, 2020, through Wednesday, Dec. 16, 2020.”

Employees will still be working. However on those three days, the county commission is asking the public to only enter the building if “absolutely necessary and to please call ahead and make an appointment.”

The Preston County prosecuting attorney’s office will be closed all next week.

Last week it was announced that an employee in the prosecutor’s office had tested positive for COVID-19.

And on Tuesday, Preston Circuit Judge Steve Shaffer said when he asked “about being around people without masks and I was informed that they all sit around the table without their masks on,” in the prosecutor’s office.

He also was told not all people in the courthouse annex wore masks, Shaffer said.

The prosecutor’s office is in the annex, along with the county health department, county commission, county clerk, assessor and sheriff’s tax office.

While the prosecuting attorney’s office is closed no one will be answering the phone, but someone will call back if a message is left.

“We know that closing the annex building for these three days may be somewhat inconvenient, but we believe it is an important step to protect the health and safety of the general public and our employees,” Commission President Samantha Stone said in the release.

When he spoke before the commission, Judge Shaffer asked it to enforce the governor’s order that masks be worn indoors.

The judge said he enforces the order at the courthouse, where his office, the magistrate court, circuit clerk, probation office and courtrooms are located.

Commissioners said they supported the policy but took no further action in the meeting.

Stone reminded the public that many county services are available online at

Phone numbers for the offices are: County clerk, 304-329-0070; county commission, 304-329-1805; assessor, 304-329-1220; tax office, 304-329-0105; prosecuting attorney, 304-329-1885; and health department, 304-329-0096.

On Wednesday the 16th death from COVID-19 in Preston County was announced. Twelve of those deaths have occurred since Nov. 1, according to the health department.

As of Wednesday Preston had 856 confirmed cases of COVID-19 and 94 probable cases for a total of 950.