Front Royal officials closed the Town Hall to citizens and vendors Friday after several employees or family members contracted COVID-19.
Town Manager Steven Hicks said by phone Friday that he made the choice to close the government office building out of caution for the health and safety of the employees.
“We’ve had either employees or employees’ family members that have tested positive for COVID,” Hicks said. “They’re quarantined and so for me to be able to make sure we provide essential services, I needed to take these actions so we could minimize the spread, especially on the operations side.”
If, for example, several employees in the Department of Energy Services tested positive for COVID-19 or needed to quarantine from exposure, then the lack of those workers could affect the agency’s ability to respond to emergencies, Hicks explained.
“We’ve had a spike in employees or employees’ family members getting COVID and made a decision just to see how things are going,” Hicks said.
Front Royal Town Hall remains closed through Oct. 15. The town could extend the closure.
Warren County has not closed its offices, County Administrator Edwin Daley said in an email on Friday. The county has not reinstated protocols it put in place last year such as limiting the number of people who could sit in the Board of Supervisors meeting room.
“Employees and visitors are requested to wear masks,” Daley states in the email. “We are waiting for updated guidance from the state.”
Front Royal officials put the following policies and operations in place for the next 30 days, which may be modified or extended:
• Town Hall will be closed for citizens and vendors. There will be a number at the main entrance individuals can call to be seen by a town employee for permit services. Permit services will continue with customers and will be conducted in the conference room to provide for six-feet social distancing.
• Utility customers will only be served via the drive through. Customers are encouraged to use alternate payment methods available on-line. The town will continue performing cut-offs and mail utility bills and applicable delinquent notifications.
• All council, boards and commission meetings will continue and citizens are encouraged to wear masks.