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At an emergency meeting of the Washington County Commissioners and County Council, the board voted 3-0 to close all county offices to the public for the next few weeks. 

Work will carry on,” said Marshall. “The general public will not be allowed in county offices. Everyone is to come to work. We’re going to try to carry on like it’s every day. We’re going to try to do the best we can to give you answers.”

After yesterday’s meeting, Commissioners Rick Roberts, Phil Marshall, and Todd Ewen talk with Salem Mayor Justin Green and Clerk-Treasurer Sally Hattabaugh.
Washington County Commissioners Rick Roberts, Phil Marshall, and Todd Ewen voted Tuesday to close all Washington County offices to public contact.
Health Department employees Susan Green and Alicia Thompson, RN, from the Washington County Health Department talk to the commissioners and council about Covid-19

However, Marshall acknowledged that these are volatile times.

“What we say today may change in two hours,” he said on Tuesday.

Marshall said all offices have email and phone numbers listed at http://washingtoncounty.in.gov/

“We’re hoping everything can be handled this way,” said Marshall. 

Salem Mayor Dustin Green was at the meeting and said he was working with the county government to coordinate efforts. 

“As I said yesterday, it was important for the city and county to do the same thing. Sally [Hattabaugh] and I have been discussing what would be the best approach,” said Green. “It’s very important we follow Gov. Holcomb’s directive. It’s a directive and not a suggestion.”

Green said both county and city government work would go on. 

“I don’t have a department I can shut,” said Green. “We will continue to operate. There will be no closures of department or services. But we will close the public from our buildings.”

The county said they will be evaluating these decisions in the days to come. 

CITY OF SALEM CLOSURES

“More than anything, I want city residents and our employees to be safe and healthy as
we endure the next few weeks of uncertainty concerning the spread of novel
coronavirus,” said Green.

“Undoubtedly, I want to assure the public that these protocols are in place
to slow the spread of this highly contagious virus, to protect vulnerable populations, our
healthcare system, and first responders.”

The new protocols include closures of city offices to public access; however, employees
will still be available by phone and through the drive-through window.

As a reminder, the Little League season has been postponed and all park and
recreation activities, including practices, have been temporarily suspended.

The following protocols will remain in effect until further notice:

Effective March 18, 2020, all city buildings will be closed to public access beginning at
8:30am. This includes City Hall, the Salem Fire Department, the Animal Shelter, and
the Senior Citizens Center. All activities for the Senior Center have been suspended.
All departments will remain staffed and employees will be available to help residents by
phone.

The Water Utility Office will accept payments through the drive-through, drop box, by
mail, or check by phone, only.

As always, utility customers can continue to make credit card payments online. Building department permits and fees can also be accessed via the Water Utility Office drive-though.

The Salem Police Department remains open and will begin handling all boat permits.

The Fire Department will continue to be on-call for emergencies.

Please call City Departments as needed for assistance:

  • Salem City Hall (812) 883-4265
  • Clerk Treasurer (812) 883-4264
  • Water Utility Office (812) 883-3937
  • City of Salem Police Dept (812) 883-5100 or (812) 883-1524
  • City of Salem Fire Dept (812) 883-4970
  • Salem Animal Shelter (812) 883-3673
  • City of Salem Parks Dept (812) 883-2895

As always in case of an emergency, call 911.

“I am thankful for our city workers, police officers, fire department, and everyone in the
city working together to slow the spread of this virus. We are experiencing something
new to all of us, but I am optimistic we will get through this together by abiding by local,
state, and federal protocols to slow the spread,” said Green. 

The CDC continues to recommend avoiding being exposed to the virus by avoiding
close contact (within about 6 feet) with an infected person.

Clean your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds, especially after you have been in a public space, or after sneezing, coughing or blowing your nose. If soap and water isn’t available, use a hand sanitizer that contains at least 60% alcohol. Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth with unwashed hands.

Most importantly, to help protect others, stay home if you are sick, except to get medical
care. Call your doctor ahead of a sick visit to explain your symptoms.

Staying home as much as possible is the best way to avoid getting sick or infecting
others.

Please continue to call City Hall if we can be of any assistance. 

Visit cdc.gov for more information about COVID-19 and locally follow https://www.facebook.com/Kentuckiana-Covid-19-Information-101594311478507/?modal=admin_todo_tour

Additional updates to these protocols will be posted as they become available.