BROOKVILLE — The Jefferson County Commissioners extended its Declaration of Disaster Emergency for another 30 days.

The commissioners held their second meeting of the month Tuesday but with a change, the meeting was held online with only the commissioners and staff on hand. They were viewable on the internet and people could submit questions online that they read and answered.

Commissioner Chairman Jack Matson said, “Today is our first attempt at a ‘virtual’ public meeting. Until the social distancing protocols are eased, Jefferson County will be holding our public meetings via and through a conference line. Access information for future meetings will be posted prior to our public meetings.

“As of 9 a.m. today (Tuesday), there are a total of 644 confirmed COVID 19 cases in Pennsylvania, and zero confirmed cases in Jefferson County. There are no signs of community spread. If /when we do get a confirmed case in Jefferson County, nothing changes except the knowledge that the COVID 19 pandemic is closer to home. We will continue to make decisions to help prepare and protect the people of Jefferson County and the employees and partners of Jefferson County.”

He also noted the following changes across county departments:

  • The Jefferson County Courthouse is operating by appointment only – Please call ahead.
  • Jefferson Place is operating by appointment only.
  • The Jefferson County Jail is closed to all outside access.
  • Jefferson County Emergency Management is closed to all outside access.
  • The Jefferson County Conservation district is closed to all outside access.
  • Magisterial District Judge’s offices are closed to outside visitors (Judge Greg Bazylak, Judge David Inzana, and Judge Jacqueline Mizerock)

“We have implemented an increased aggressive cleaning and sanitizing schedule in our buildings, implemented hands free calling for the public, and continue to put together contingency plans. Any employee that can do their work from home is doing so. Any alternative work schedules (like staggered shifts) are being handled on a department by department basis. Any visitors showing signs of COVID 19 will be turned away at the door.

“Tracy Zents and the Jefferson County Department of Emergency Services have been working to make sure our first responders are protected and organized. EMS staff have been taking inventories of personal protective equipment (gloves, masks, gowns, eyewear) to ensure that our critical first responders are ready. There have been multiple meetings to address concerns and weak points with our police, fire and EMS departments,” Matson said, adding “We’ve never been more proud of the people that we work with, the people that support the county and the community. We have seen countless examples of adaptations and ideas in an effort to help. When the plans change, know that we are ready to meet the challenges and we will continue to protect the people and property of Jefferson County.”

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