The town hall and planning department in Boone is reopening after a COVID-19 outbreak shut down operations for a week.
The offices closed Jan. 10, but some people didn’t find out until they showed up at the building.
The doors are locked at the town hall building, and a sign is up alerting people about the COVID-19 outbreak. Some residents told Channel 9′s Dave Faherty that it’s a reminder Covid is still with us.
“It’;s amazing that it’s lasted this long, but you gotta take it each and every day,” said Zach McCaskill. “Pretty proud how far we’ve come in Boone.”
McCaskill went to the town hall on Tuesday hoping to get a parking pass for his job in downtown Boone. Instead, he got the notice that the 20 people working inside the building won’t be back until next Tuesday.
“Due to staffing shortages, related to Covid, at Town Hall we chose to close until Tuesday, January 17, to allow staff to recover and attempt to minimize exposure,” Town Manager Amy Davis said in a statement to Channel 9. “Staff is working remotely and there is no lapse in service to citizens.”
A block away at the planning department, Rick Page couldn’t go inside to get help on a project he’s working on. Most of the staff weren’t there, and an employee eventually told Page he would need to send his request by email and call one of the planners.
“They’re right here in the middle of town, and there’s twenty thousand students around us. It’s pretty strange,” Page said.
Davis, who said she’s also tested positive for the coronavirus, added that staffers at the planning department are working in a Hybrid role.
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Watauga County is currently considered “medium risk” for the spread of the virus, but statewide cases have gone up since the holidays.
(WATCH BELOW: Boone Town Hall closes for a week due to COVID-19 outbreak)