Camden County hires "COVID-19 Nurse" for courthouse sanitation

Published: Jun. 4, 2020 at 3:37 PM CDT
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Camden County commissioners heard from circuit judges a few weeks ago, and a key problem popped up.

"They had deep concerns about social distancing and having the necessary sanitation to protect the public once the courts are reopened," said Greg Hasty, Camden County Presiding Commissioner.

So, the judges asked the commission to do what they saw other counties do. They wanted to hire a "COVID-19 Officer."

That raised some questions on social media, with some people speculating the county was hiring an officer to enforce social distancing.

"First off all, there is no law in place that they would be violating, and secondly, there's no need to. Right now, the way things are looking in Camden County, we're doing really well," Hasty said.

So, to clear up confusion, the commission renamed the position as a "COVID-19 Nurse."

"He said one of the first things he would like to do is make sure everybody in the courthouse has a very short introduction course to what an actual virus is and how it spreads," said First District Commissioner, Beverly Thomas.

The registered nurse, who will work under the Emergency Management Office, will only work on sanitation and social distancing at the courthouse buildings, and is only expected to be on the job for six months.

"This is absolutely necessary and it's beyond the scope of our regular people to be able to do," Hasty said.

That COVID-19 Nurse starts his new job on Monday, and will make $19.50 per hour, and no benefits. The commission expects the nurse to work 35 hours per week on average, depending on trial scheduling.

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