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County ‘cautiously’ opens up all offices, services

Laurens County Administrator Jon Caime

As “close-contact” businesses such as salons and gyms opened up Monday as restrictions eased once again across South Carolina, so did Laurens County’s government offices.

The Laurens County Council voted unanimously at its meeting Tuesday (May 12) to reopen all functions of county government. Essential government functions had remained opened, while others operated on a limited basis, serving citizens thru drive-thrus at the Hillcrest offices or working remotely.

Council Chairman David Pitts, who made the motion to reopen county government, said the offices would reopen “cautiously.”

Laurens County Administrator said operations went well at Hillcrest on the first day of a “new normal” for county employees.

“I think there was a lot of hesitancy at first,” Caime said of the reopening among employees. “There was apprehension at first, but, overall, the feedback I got was that things went smoothly.”

The county is not requiring masks be worn at present by visitors or staff, but is enforcing social distancing guidelines.

“I think people were receptive to the things we do have in place,” Caime said. “We are doing temperature checks at least at the Hillcrest building, and we have direction arrows down for walking. Overall, I think it went well.”

The Laurens County Library and Animal Shelter had what was termed “soft” openings, requiring appointments for computer use in the case of the library, and to meet and potentially adopt animals at the shelter.

“We are seeing light at the end of the tunnel,” Councilman Brown Patterson said of the decision to reopen county offices.


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