Barnwell County officials prepare for Coronavirus


CREDIT: Barnwell County, SC Facebook

BARNWELL COUNTY S.C. (WJBF) — Barnwell County, South Carolina officials are preparing for the coronavirus in the area.

Officials say County department heads met on Friday, March 13 to discuss options on how to maintain county services if the coronavirus impacts county operations.

“Our goal is not to over-react but to be smart about implementing measures to protect the public and county employees and to ensure county services are maintained,” County Administrator Tim Bennett said.

We’re told the department heads discussed teleworking for departments such as Finance, Payroll, and Business Manager. Computer hardware and software already are in place to enable this to occur, with some minor adjustments.

The county’s IT consultant, Computer Solutions, would assist.

Modified employee work schedules, communication methods to reach the public and employees, disinfectant measures, and other topics were also discussed.

“The County will undertake an immediate safety measure of installing Lexan thermoplastic, transparent sheets at the customer counters at the offices of the County Auditor, Treasurer, Assessor and Clerk of Court,” officials added.

The Lexan sheets will provide a clear shield between the customer and the county employee. The sheets will include an audio enhancer to allow for communication. Meanwhile, a half-moon 6×12-inch hole will be cut near the base of the sheets to allow for transferring of documents between customer and county employee.

“The intent here is to reduce the risk to everyone involved in county transactions,” Bennett said.

County employees will install the sheets after hours so as not to disrupt daily operations.

Barnwell County Council will be the decision-maker on policies such as employee work schedules and other decisions that rise to that level.

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