Courthouse reopening goes smoothly

Glenn Parrish
Although the Logan County Courthouse in Booneville, closed since mid-March due to the coronavirus COVID-19 pandemic reopened to the public last week, the county operated library remains closed.

Three days after the Logan County courthouse in Booneville opened its doors a City Hall in nearby Mansfield closed its doors, reportedly due to positive tests to employees.

“That’s what we’re trying to keep out of the courthouse. That’s what we’re trying to keep from happening,” Logan County Ray Gack said.

For now the incident is not causing Gack to reconsider the opening, which happened only after the installation of new door glass that features a chute through which items can be passed from the hallway to an employee in an office.

“It’s probably safer now than before we opened it up. If (an employee) lets somebody in their office they have to screen them and that’s what I was doing, and they may not tell you the truth, because they’ve got to get in there and do their business” said Gack. “At least now you have that safety class between the worker and the visitor.”

The courthouse reopening in Booneville reopening last week was relatively smooth according to Gack.

“There have been a few that come in without a mask even though there’s signs out front,” said Gack. “But I think it’s going as best it can right now.”

But he cautioned, “if the numbers in Logan County go up we may have to do something different.”

While the courthouse reopened, the county’s library in Booneville, which is a county owned building but is also a member of the Arkansas River Valley Library System, did not.

Librarian Brittany Downs said last week that a reopening date for the facility is still undetermined.

“The library would be a vector point for the spread and we are trying to take all the necessary precautions to avoid that,” said Downs.