TAWAS CITY – A county employee with a positive COVID-19 infection temporarily had the Iosco County Courthouse and Annex Building closed.

The courthouse building was closed on Friday, Sept. 18, and through the weekend, but reopened Monday, Sept 21 after a thorough cleaning, according to Iosco County Co-Administrator/Board Secretary Mindy Schirmer.

The announcement that the building would be closed for disinfecting came on Sept. 17 in a press release issued by Iosco County Clerk/Co-Administrator Nancy Huebel

Huebel said in the release the building was closed after it was discovered on Sept. 17 that a county employee had an infection from the virus. Employees undergo daily health screenings for access to the building.

“The health and safety of our employees and residents continues to be the top priority for Iosco County. On Sept. 17, 2020, the County learned that one of its employees has tested positive for the novel coronavirus, COVID-19,” according to the release. 

Huebel said in an email that the employee discovered they had the infection and then notified their direct supervisor that they were infected.

The release stated that in accordance with guidelines from the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) and the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services, the county building and annex building were to be closed on the aforementioned date and over the weekend “in order to conduct thorough cleaning and disinfecting.”

Huebel said the county’s janitorial staff cleaned and ServPro was hired to assist in disinfecting the courthouse over the weekend, and conducted fogging of the air and wiped down surfaces of the building with disinfectant.

According to Iosco County Sheriff Allan MacGregor, the Iosco County Jail facility remained open to the public over the weekend.

Huebel added that the county is following the guidance and recommendations of District Health Department No. 2 (DHD2). Schirmer said that although it is not mandatory, many employees have opted to get tested for COVID-19.

Huebel informed county employees in an email about the situation, and gave directions for reporting back to work.

“Unless the health department notifies you directly, it is not believed that you have been in close contact with the infected employee,” said Huebel in the email. “According to the CDC, close contact means being within six feet of the infected individual for 15 minutes or more during the 48 hours prior to the infected employee showing symptoms.”

The email told employees who had not been in close contact with the individual that they could report back to work, unless they were exhibiting any COVID-19-related symptoms, including “fever, sore throat, a new uncontrolled cough that causes difficulty breathing, diarrhea, vomiting, abdominal pain, new onset of severe headache, and new loss or taste of smell.”

Huebel told employees and the public that if anyone had questions about the issue to contact the clerk’s office by calling 362-3497.