UPDATE (7/10/20 12:06 p.m.)

ELKINS, W.Va. – Elkins City Hall will remain closed on Friday and a reopening date will be dependent on pending test results after an employee in the building was confirmed to have tested positive for COVID-19 on Wednesday, according to a release from city officials.

In the release, city officials said the building could reopen as soon as Monday, July 13, but currently it is not possible to announce a firm reopening date.

Officials said this closure was ordered because according to the CDC, it is possible to carry the virus for as long as two weeks before showing symptoms, and officials want to prevent additional cases from being transmitted among other city staff members while the situation is being evaluated.

The release stated that after learning of the first employee’s positive test and closing the building, city officials followed DHHR and Randolph-Elkins Health Department (REHD) guidance to identify all known contacts with the first employee during the window of time when transmission might have occurred.

City hall maintenance staff also commenced a deep cleaning of the indicated workspaces, according to the release.

Officials said that on Thursday, the identified individuals were tested for COVID-19 and are required to self-isolate until those results are received.

“Employees whose tests come back negative are permitted to return to work immediately under strict precautions, such as distancing, masks, gloves as needed, and frequent sanitization measures,” said Elkins City Clerk Jessica Sutton. “The original employee who tested positive and any others who may test positive will have to follow individual guidance from the health department as to when and how they can return.”

Officials said that after analyzing the layout of the building, the testing efforts and the extent of city hall employees’ interactions with customers, REHD officials have approved the reopening of city hall to the public once the testing process is complete.

“Of course, if we learn about any new positive cases, we will have to reevaluate additional potential employee exposures and any risk to the public before determining next steps,” said Sutton.

ORIGINAL (7/8/20 8:18 p.m.)

ELKINS, W.Va. – Elkins City Hall will be closing Thursday, July 9 due to an employee testing positive for coronavirus, according to a release from city officials.

External Affairs Specialist, Sutton Stokes stated that officials are not able to provide an estimated reopening date at this time. Stokes explained that the city will update the announcement as soon as possible after further evaluation of the complex and fluid situation.

The release also explained that residents should expect delayed responses to emails or phone messages directed at city staff.

City officials are also wanting to remind utilities customers and those needing to pay court costs, that it is possible to do so online at the following links: