Bertie County offices will reopen to the general public on Tuesday, February 8, 2022. said the County’s Human Resources Director Cortney Ward explained to the Board of Commissioners at the monthly meeting last evening.
As a result of the increased case counts of the Omicron variant, the County had closed the doors to visitors to minimize exposure to the easily transmitted COVID-19 strain. Since then, citizens could enter the building by appointment only.
However, Ward advised the Commissioners that she felt comfortable with the shrinking numbers of active cases. Last week, only three county employees called out sick with Omicron, and so far this week–zero!
Visitors to any County building must continue to wear indoor face coverings and practice social distancing when possible. The County also hopes to provide employees with home testing kits via Emergency Management.
Self-isolation requirements of five days after possible exposure and a negative test result will remain in place. Additionally, employees recovering from COVID will continue to reach out to Ward on their fifth symptom-free day. She will give them guidance on returning to work.
Besides a declining COVID positivity rate in employees, Ward noted that the most recent ARHS report indicated a drop-off in coronavirus case counts among all Bertie County residents.
Besides the County Offices, Parks and Recreation Will Also Reopen Soon
But there’s more good news. Not only will the administrative offices reopen, so will Parks and Recreation and the Department of Aging.
The leadership of these departments will soon deliver a safety plan to County administrators to get all programs back up and running. This plan will include putting the very popular dances back on the schedule. Commissioners Trent and Wesson both applauded this idea. That’s because both mentioned how they had received calls from citizens inquiring about when dances will resume.
Because most of the dances performed are line dancing, a social distancing plan seems plausible, suggested the commissioners.
Juan Vaughan, the County Manager, agreed to keep Bertie County’s Facebook page updated with scheduling changes, as they have done throughout the pandemic. This practice will ensure that residents find up-to-date information.
Plans for a safe reopening are an encouraging sign for a pandemic-weary community ready to return to normalcy.