• By Todd Luck
  • Posted Friday, March 13, 2020

Forsyth County Government taking preventive measures on coronavirus

Forsyth County is taking preventative steps to protect the health and safety of employees and the public in respect to the potential spread of novel coronavirus (COVID-19).

All county departments are open for business with some additional precautions. Court facilities remain open but should have less traffic due to the continuance of court cases by the State. There are multiple COVID-19 cases in North Carolina, including two Forsyth County residents who tested presumptively positive. Both cases in Forsyth are related to travel and not attributed to community spread. Risk of contracting the disease in the area is still considered low at this time.

County Manager Dudley Watts urges everyone to adhere to CDC precautions and stay abreast of the situation as circumstances change. For the foreseeable future weekly updates will be provided at 2:00 PM before the regular County Commissioners’ briefing and meeting.

The county has begun implementing additional measures to help ensure workspaces and areas used by the public are cleaned frequently. Items located in publicly accessible high traffic areas are being disinfected and sanitized multiple times a day. This includes things like public computers and furniture, doorknobs, handrails, elevator buttons, etc.

Department directors have also been asked to place alcohol-based hand sanitizers and disinfectant wipes in common areas. Employees have been advised to stay home if they’re sick. The county’s Pandemic Flu Policy is in effect so employees cannot lose their job for being sick or self-quarantining for an extended period of time. Employee business travel is restricted unless it’s absolutely necessary. County departments may be flexible with employees who need alternate work arrangements.

Departments are postponing and cancelling events that draw large crowds. Parks and Recreation is waiving fees to the public for reservation cancellations.

Emergency Services’ 911 operators are pre-screening calls to minimize the possible exposure of first responders to the virus. Social Services will screen home visits and supply social workers with masks if illness is suspected.

The Sheriff’s Office has made changes at the Forsyth County Detention Center, including restricting public visitation except for attorneys, suspending all inmate programs, and checking detention staff and new arrestees for fever and signs of respiratory distress.

County employees and the general public are advised to take precautions like hand washing, cleaning and disinfecting surfaces, staying home when you’re sick, covering coughs and sneezes, and not touching your face with unwashed hands.

Those at high risk of severe illness from COVID-19, which include people over 65 or who have chronic health conditions, are advised to stay at home as much as possible. Organizers of events that draw more than 100 people should cancel, postpone, modify these events or offer online streaming services.

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