COVID-19 cases close courts

Published 11:16 am Tuesday, December 1, 2020

County officials confirmed on Dec. 1 that two people at the Isle of Wight Courthouse have tested positive for COVID-19.

According to a message sent to county residents who subscribe to the county’s IW Alert system, the building will be closed to the public until Dec. 9. Individuals with cases before the courts will be contacted with rescheduled dates.

The building will undergo cleaning Dec. 1.

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“Once we’ve cleaned the building, we’ll have to evaluate how soon we can get people back in there,” Assistant County Administrator Don Robertson said.

The Virginia Department of Health’s website now lists five congregate outbreaks in its Western Tidewater Health District, which includes Isle of Wight County, Southampton County and the cities of Franklin and Suffolk. Congregate settings can include workplaces or other environments where a number of people reside or gather in close proximity.

Isle of Wight County alone crossed the 1,000-case mark earlier this month, with 1,044 reported as of Dec. 1. That equates to 2.8% of the county’s estimated population of 37,109 — meaning one in every 35 county residents has or has had COVID-19 since the pandemic began.

In addition, Surry County announced Tuesday that its combined courts were closed until further notice.

“The Surry County Combined Courts [General District Court and Juvenile and Domestic Relations Court] are currently closed until further notice,” an announcement from the county stated.

County Administrator Melissa Rollins said there had been one reported case among staff in the combined courts. Because the staff is so small, the closure is a precautionary measure, she stated. She also said she did not know how long the closure would last.

“We could be open tomorrow; we just don’t know,” she said.

To contact Surry Combined Court Services, call 757-294-5201 and leave a message with your name, contact information, and the nature of your call.  All calls will be returned as they are received, the message stated.