HENDERSONVILLE, Tenn. (WKRN) — COVID-19 is changing how we do business, how we congregate, and now how we enter a city building.
In Hendersonville, you can’t just enter city hall anymore, at least not without a few questions and a temperature reading.
It started Thursday morning. A Hendersonville firefighter manned a table at the front door.
Every employee and citizen who entered had to stop and answer questions.
The firefighter asked:
- Have you been running a fever?
- Have you had a cough or difficulty breathing?
- Have you been on an airplane in the last 14 days or been around anyone who has?
- Have you been around anyone who has tested positive for the coronavirus?
If you answered no to all of those questions, he then held a digital thermometer to your forehead and took your temperature.
Hendersonville City Administrator Dave LeMarbre told News 2 that the idea materialized Wednesday when he was at a meeting at the Sumner County administration building where they took his temperature.
When he returned to Hendersonville, LeMarbre got approval from city leaders to implement a similar plan. The plan was in place by Thursday morning.
“They were here at 7 a.m., testing everyone in the building, including myself, and all employees,” said LeMarbre, “If someone is over 100 degrees, they are not allowed in. If it is a citizen, we are asking them not to come into the building.”
LeMarbre continues, “If it’s one of our employees, we are asking them to go home for the day, and if they have symptoms to go to the health department where they have kits and for them to be tested or be self-quarantined.”
LeMarbre says the building, which houses the planning department, public works, parks, and city offices was empty compared to most days.
“Well, we canceled all the meetings next week and then we will decide every two weeks whether to have meetings,” said LeMarbre, “We took all the board of alderman from up there where they were side by side and moved some of them down here.”
LeMarbre says the meeting room they were moved to, nicknamed the fishbowl because it’s small and window-lined, is now limited to 6 people max.
And because COVID-19 is a roll of the dice, Hendersonville’s IT department is also gearing up.
“Our IT department is getting everyone geared up in case we have to go to a skeleton crew,” said LeMarbre, “We’re getting 35 laptops, iPads, up online.”