MERCER – Anyone entering any court of law in Mercer County will have their temperature taken starting this week.

Two policies adopted unanimously by the county commissioners Thursday will require the public and employees entering the Mercer County courthouse or any other the five district magistrate offices to have their temperature taken.

The move is intended to protect the health and safety of both the workforce and the public, county officials said.

“We’ve had some questions already,” Commissioner Matt McConnell said. “Basically, we’re following the CDC guidelines as well as the Department of Health guidelines.”

At the Mercer County Courthouse, the thermometers will be integrated into the metal detectors.

At the magistrates’ offices, the device will be a scanner that looks like an iPad. People can walk up to them, and it will scan to take your temperature.

If your temperature is above 100.4 degrees, you will first be asked to sit down for five minutes. After that, you can be scanned again. If your temperature is above 100.4, you’re deemed to have a fever and will be asked to leave.

“I have alerted the courts, as well, about that policy and they have agreed that that is a good policy to have,” McConnell said.

McConnell said he hopes everyone will cooperate.

“I think it’s one of those that will not only help us with COVID, I think it will help us with influenza and other items,” McConnell said. “Not all of us know that we’re carrying a fever.”

The scanners are ready to be installed, McConnell said. He estimates they will be up and running sometime this week.

“We have additional equipment coming in so there will be some modifications, and not everything will be in place at once,” McConnell said. “But even a partial scan is better than no scan at all, so we will continue to make improvements.”

McConnell said other county offices will adopt the policy as well, including the bridge department, which will have handheld sensors.

“I do appreciate in advance the folks and their understanding to cooperate with that,” McConnell said.

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