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County puts restrictions on employee travel amid virus outbreak

The supervisors plan to have non-essential employees stay home from work

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sups zoom 20-03-23s

The Carroll County Supervisors met this morning with the help of video conferencing software.

Carroll County employees will be required to self-quarantine in their homes for two weeks if they leave the state and are advised to not leave the county for the foreseeable future, county leaders decided today as they considered ways to stem the spread of a new coronavirus that has become a global pandemic.

"Do not leave the state. Stop leaving the county," said Sara Anderson, the emergency management coordinator for Carroll County. "If we can get people to stop moving in this county and stay home, we will be in much better shape in the long run."

The county supervisors held their regular weekly meeting this morning, with Supervisors Rich Ruggles, Stephanie Hausman and Gene Meiners gathered at the courthouse and Dean Schettler and Neil Bock participating via video conference.

They voted unanimously to require employees to self-quarantine if they travel outside of Iowa but left an exception for essential travel, such as a necessary appointment with a doctor in Omaha, for example.

The supervisors will seek advice from the leaders of each county department about how they can scale back the county workforce to keep as many people home as possible.

"The time is now," Hausman said. "We need to make some decisions. The department heads are going to have to step up."

The supervisors plan to meet again Wednesday afternoon to discuss which employees are essential and which should be home during the outbreak. Some might work from home.

"I think everybody should go home that can go home," Schettler said.

The supervisors plan to pay all county employees for at least the next three weeks. They discussed furloughing some employees after that time but were wary of the idea.

"It's going to be a rocky time," Ruggles said. "There's no good answers."

Their next meeting is set for 3 p.m. Wednesday.

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