To protect the well-being of its employees and county residents, Clearfield County Commissioners have restricted public access to all county buildings, as restrictions began yesterday. The measures are in place to limit the spread of COVID-19 Coronavirus.

A notice on the county’s website, clearfieldco.org, notes as of 4 p.m. March 19, the state’s Supreme Court had ordered all court offices closed and court activity, aside from certain emergency hearings, to cease through April 3. The decision is based on guidance and commands from the Center for Disease Control, the state Department of Health and Gov. Tom Wolf to help limit the virus.

“In conjunction with that, the county is closing the courthouse, the annex, and the administration building to the public through April 3 as well. There will be drop-boxes set up for essential paperwork during normal business hours,” information on Clearfield County’s website states.

Clearfield County Commissioner John Sobel said the county buildings are following the state Supreme Court’s directive in regards to county residents and visitors.

“We want to protect the health and safety of county employees and the public. That’s why we are following the Pennsylvania Supreme Court’s directive,” Sobel said. “We want to limit the number of people in various areas and cut down on the flow of traffic in the courthouse.”

Sobel said residents are still able to do a very large part of their business with the county.

“Much of what residents need to do, they are able to do by telephone, email or by placing department paperwork in one of the corresponding deposit boxes located at the entrance to the Clearfield County Courthouse and other county buildings,” Sobel said.

The drop-boxes, available from 8:30 a.m. to 4 p.m., are marked for various departments.

Commissioner Chairman Tony Scotto said COVID-19 coronavirus is “very serious.”

“We want to be protective of the county’s employees,” Scotto said. “We need to ensure they are secure and safe in their jobs and restricting access to the county buildings is one of the ways we can do this.”

“One of the weapons we have to fight this pandemic is to avoid public and face-to-face contact. By limiting access to the county’s buildings, we can help manage this,” Sobel said.

The commissioners said all county offices are still staffed.

“Everyone is working. There have been no layoffs. We are exploring the possibility of reducing numbers of people in departments to ensure the safety measures remain effective,” Sobel said.

Sobel said, “We would like to thank the public for its cooperation and ask for its patience. We know it’s difficult for residents and it’s difficult for us, too. We would also like to thank the county’s employees for their cooperation and for going the extra mile to help get citizens the help and answers they need. Eventually this pandemic will lift and the county will get back to normal business.”

To contact the county offices, call 765-2641. The telephone system will direct callers to the various departments.

Sobel said the county will continue evaluating its measures and procedures based on new and updated state and federal information about COVID-19.