County judge shuts down Upshur courthouse, justice center due to COVID-19

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Upshur County Judge Todd Tefteller, citing “the recent COVID-19 spike and the increasing number of county employees being absent from work due to COVID-19 infections,” on Monday ordered both the county courthouse and justice center in Gilmer closed to the public for the next two days.

The facilities will reopen Monday inasmuch as the last two weekdays of the week are Christmas Eve and Christmas Day.

Tefteller’s written order also said “that any department heads,” whether located in the two buildings or not, were “authorized to furlough from work any or all department personnel from reporting to work” on Dec. 22 and 23, an option “which shall be in the absolute discretion of each county department head.”

The order, however, said that each county office, department or facility “may be required to work” those two days by order of either 115th District Judge Dean Fowler, Tefteller, or “any particular county department head.” (A department head would only control his/her department.)

As of Sunday, the Department of State Health Services reported 694 COVID cases had been confirmed in Upshur County, including 28 deaths, County Extension Agent Julie York said Monday. The state estimates 211 cases are active, she said.

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