After the Vinton County Courthouse was closed to the public for a short time earlier in the week, the Vinton County Commissioners passed an emergency resolution Wednesday which allows the public controlled and limited access inside the courthouse.

Last Monday, Vinton County Sheriff Shawn Justice issued an order closing the courthouse to the general public due to the health-related threats and concerns related to the coronavirus situation. His statement indicated all offices inside the courthouse would be open and that members of the public should make contacts by telephone with the individual offices.

However, at some point soon after the sheriff's order was announced, there was a concern among some courthouse officials that some limited public access was necessary. This resulted in the commissioners' emergency resolution, which was drawn up by Vinton County Prosecuting Attorney Trecia Kimes-Brown and signed by all three commissioners: William Wellman, Tim Eberts and Mark Fout.

The commissioners' emergency resolution includes the following main provisions:

- A per hour limit of 25 persons is the number of people that can be permitted in the Courthouse at one time each day until further directives are issued by the state.

- The only person to enter the building is the person in need of a particular service.

- Each elected official is to establish rules for their own offices regarding social distancing, sanitizing practices.

- Each elected official to implement practices for its employees and visitors regarding the practice of social distancing, sanitizing procedures, and the like.

-  The building constable is to utilize a basic screening practice consistent with the policies of the Vinton County Sheriff's Office regarding health, type of business in the Courthouse, and travel to the office visiting.

-  The constable has the right to deny access to the building of any person who does not meet the screening criteria, which includes having a fever or having symptoms.