Marshall County Courthouse re-opens with increased safety precautions

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MARSHALL COUNTY, Ala. – The Marshall County Courthouse officially re-opened Monday under Governor Kay Ivey’s amended safer at home order.

Employees are taking safety precautions, but some residents told WHNT News 19 they do not think it is safe just yet.

The line to get into the courthouse was long all day Monday. The wait time was about 45 minutes.

“I expect today we’ll serve well over 1,000 people,” said Marshall County Commission Chairman James Hutcheson.

Guntersville resident Greg Darville said standing in the heat has been a horrible experience for his mother, who has a hernia.

“You’ve got a lot of people out here peaking at 70, 80 years old, standing out in the heat, it’s a stroke risk,” explained Darville.

Marshall County Sheriff Phil Sims and other deputies performed temperature checks on everyone before entering, gave out masks to those who did not have any, and offered free cold water to those who were growing weary in the late-May heat.

But Darville said that is not enough, especially now that new research shows many people infected with COVID-19 have been completely asymptomatic.

“Just checking temperatures, you don’t really know if someone’s got it or not,” said Darville.

“No system is perfect on this virus. They’re still learning things about it every day. So is it perfect, no it’s not perfect but it’s better than doing nothing, I think sure it’s better than doing nothing. And face masks, there’s been some question about it but I feel like it’s better to try to be proactive than sit back and don’t do anything,” explained Hutcheson.

Once inside, things are a little different than normal. There are barriers separating the people coming in and out of the courthouse, as well as some stand here stickers on the floor ensuring social distancing.

Hutcheson told WHNT News 19 they are trying to make things as easy and safe as possible for everyone.

He said most people have been at the courthouse Monday to renew driver’s licenses and vehicle tags.

He explained that renewing or getting a new license plate is something that can be done online.

Hutcheson also said they are doubling down on sanitization.

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