Courthouse to open under Stage 3 on Tuesday

| May 31, 2020 6:36 PM

BONNERS FERRY — While the Boundary County Courthouse will open Monday under Idaho Rebounds’ Stage 2 guidelines, on Tuesday the courthouse will open its doors under Stage 3 protocols, Andrew O’Neel, director of Boundary County Emergency Management, said.

“As Governor Brad Little announced on Thursday, Idaho [moved] into Stage 3 of the Idaho Rebounds reopening plan starting on Saturday, May 30.” O’Neel said in a press release. “Stage 3 will enable more businesses such as bars and movie theaters to open and enables public and private meetings of up to 50 people. Continuing social distancing of 6 feet or more between people, wearing face coverings in public, and good personal hygiene remain keystones of the reopening plan at all stages.”

With that in mind, O’Neel said Boundary County officials are asking the public conduct county business online, over the phone, or through the mail as much as possible. However, for transactions that must be done in person the county will continue public access to the courthouse with certain restrictions in place.

Under Stage 3 protocols: • All citizens and employees must wear face coverings (masks) while in the courthouse by order of the Idaho Supreme Court.

• Up to 50 people can be in the courthouse at one time. O’Neel said a monitor will be present at the front doors with hand sanitizer and face coverings, and to answer questions.

• Entry will only be available through the front doors on Kootenai Street. While the back door will be locked, special exception can be made for wheelchair access.

• Boxes for ballots, payments, auto registrations, etc. will remain in place at both doors for the community’s convenience.

• Social distancing of at least 6 feet should be maintained, and only one single person (not groups) will be able to enter to conduct business.

• Only one person will be allowed at the counter to conduct business at a time. There will be tape markings on the floor to help keep the 6-foot distancing while waiting in line.

• Anyone entering should go directly to, or to the line for, the office that can assist them. Please do not loiter once your business is completed.

• No passports will be processed at this time as processing by the federal government is not occurring.

O’Neel said the rules only apply to the courthouse. However, other county offices will be opening with similar restrictions including face covering requirements, so residents are advised to check before visiting the office in person.

“Actual court operations fall under the jurisdiction of the Idaho Supreme Court and there will be different protocols established for court functions,” he said in the release. “We appreciate the cooperation and continued understanding. Thank you for following these rules to help protect the most vulnerable members within our community.”