Appanoose County Courthouse

CENTERVILLE — The courthouse in Appanoose County will begin reopening to the public after closing in mid-March due to the coronavirus pandemic.

The main entrances to the courthouse will reopen starting Tuesday, but some offices will remain open by appointment only. County supervisors ask the public to practice common sense and practice social distancing inside the building.

Courthouse staff recently requested face masks from the state’s stockpile of personal protective equipment, but Auditor Kelly Howard said she isn’t sure when those supplies will be delivered.

The courthouse has been closed to the public, with only some public allowed by appointment, since March 17.

County Attorney Susan Scieszinski said district court would be trying to do hearings by phone or video conferencing for the time being. Mary Ann Brown, the chief judge of the eighth judicial district, was in Appanoose County to help implement social distancing procedures in the county’s courtrooms.

“We need to be as safe as possible to keep our employees safe,” Supervisor Chairman Mark Waits said. “ ... People just need to use commonsense.”

According to data from the Iowa Department of Public Health Monday morning, while Appanoose County has had 17 cases of the COVID-19 disease to date, there are only three active cases in the community. There has only been three cases of the disease confirmed in the month of June.

Meanwhile in contiguous counties, case growth has slowed even in the more populated Wapello County.

In other action:

• Supervisors approved the resignation of Phillip Visser as Appanoose County conservation director. His last day will be June 19.

• The fiscal year 2020-21 salary certifications were approved as presented.

Kyle Ocker is the group editor of the Ottumwa Courier and the Oskaloosa Herald. He can be reached at kocker@ottumwacourier.com. Follow him on Twitter @Kyle_Ocker.

Kyle Ocker is a Centerville native and award-winning multimedia journalist. Kyle is currently the first vice president of the Iowa Freedom of Information Council and vice president of the Iowa Print Sports Writers Association.

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