Screening

Visiting the Walton County Government Building is an ‘in tents’ experience. You’ll be screened before being allowed inside.

MONROE — The Walton County Government Building on South Hammond Drive remains closed to most foot traffic, but daily operations are beginning to resume at the government building with new social distancing precautions in place.

To facilitate normal operations such as car tag payments, tax bills, probate court business and other issues, the Walton County government has erected a tent in front of the building, with booths set up for the various offices currently accepting customers.

County employees wear masks and other personal protective equipment and remain behind glass screens, while visitors are asked to stay 6 feet apart from one another while waiting in line.

Some offices within the building are still only accepting people on an appointment basis, while others are only allowed within on important business after having their temperature checked.

Kevin Little, chairman of the Walton County Board of Commissioners, said it was a good way to begin opening up government operations to the public once more while still maintaining public quarantine precautions for the time being.

“It’s going to be trial and error,” Little said. “We all have to work together and live together.”

Little said he expected some complaints from citizens as some restrictions remain in place, but feels this is the best way to approach the slow restoration of public services under Gov. Brian Kemp’s soft opening approach while still balancing health and safety needs of county workers.

“I want to protect the employees as best we can,” Little said.

Carl Morrow, director of emergency management for Walton County, said the important thing was to keep order and ensure safety protocols were in place.

“We’re just trying to queue everyone up,” Morrow said. “It’s a pre-screening process.”

The tent will be open to visitors from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m., giving county workers time to clean everything before and after operating hours each day.

Stephen Milligan is a staff writer for The Walton Tribune. He lives in Monroe and is a graduate of the University of Georgia.