UPDATE: Elkins postpones reopening of town hall, cites difficulty obtaining PPE

Randolph

UPDATE (May 5, 2020 5:35 p.m.):

ELKINS, W.Va. – According to a press release, Elkins officials have cancelled the previously announced May 11 reopening of Elkins City Hall.

Officials stated that a main factor in the decision to halt reopening was the difficulty of obtaining protective equipment. Officials have not yet announced a new reopening date.

“At the weekly administrative officers meeting this morning, we decided to delay the opening of city hall to the public,” said Jessica Sutton, the Elkins City Clerk. “Several concerns were brought up, but the most important one is that we cannot ensure our employees will all have access to the proper personal protective equipment. We have placed an order, but we have been advised that the earliest it could arrive is May 12th.”

Sutton explained that she and the other administrative officers will be monitoring the situation closely.

“We also want more time to evaluate the impact of the statewide reopening,” said Sutton. “The good news is that we already know we can deliver essential city services without opening city hall to the public, because we’ve been doing so for more than a month. We would just ask for everyone’s patience and remind everyone about the dropbox behind city hall and the telephone and online options for making utility bill and court payments. If you have questions, all city offices are reachable by phone and email.”


ORIGINAL (May 1, 2020 7:18 p.m.):

ELKINS, W.Va. – The city of Elkins is getting ready to reopen the doors to City Hall this month.

The city has been operating under a state of emergency since it was declared by Mayor Van Broughton in mid-March.

City Clerk Jessica Sutton said the city’s administration has been following the progress of the pandemic and is bringing most city staff back to work on Monday. Sutton explained that while they hope to see everyone return, they will also be working with employees in special situations.

“If employees are in a vulnerable situation, and they need to continue working from home or they need to enact some type of leave that’s made available to them because of illness or exposure, vulnerable family members, childcare issues, things like that, we’re taking all of those into consideration,” Sutton detailed.

Employees will work during the next week to see what changes in procedure may need to be made before they open the doors to the general public on May 11.

Sutton said about three-quarters of city employees had been working since the emergency was declared, but had been practicing social distancing and other policies designed to slow the spread of the coronavirus.

While most city employees will return on Monday, the fire and police departments will return to a regular schedule on Sunday morning.

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