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Washington County closes courthouse, Johnson City office

Johnson City Press • Updated Mar 24, 2020 at 5:40 PM

Washington County government has closed the courthouse on Main Street in Jonesborough and its Johnson City office to the public to protect employees and the public during the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic, according to a news release.

“We’re now taking a second approach to keep our staff safe,” County Mayor Joe Grandy said in the news release. “We offered the option to department heads and elected officials to allow alternate team work schedules.”

In a memo to staff dated March 23, Grandy said limitation on public access presents a suppression of services that impacts staffing needs. He encouraged department heads and elected officials to coordinate with staff and address any concerns with work schedules.

For instance, team members doing similar job functions can alternate days working in the office and telecommuting. This helps employees abide by social distancing guidelines yet still perform their assigned duties. No employees working for the county are laid off due to these changes and all county offices are operational.

“Accommodations are being made for employees to either telecommute or adjust schedules due to the current health emergency,” Grandy said. “We continue to take our cues from the regional health department and are applying their directives while still doing the daily business of Washington County.”

One of Tennessee Gov. Bill Lee recent orders impacted business in the county clerk’s office. Through Executive Order No. 15, Lee extended the deadline for obtaining registration renewals that expire in March or April. The new deadline for obtaining these renewals is June 15.

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