As positive cases in Christian County continue to increase, the Christian County Clerk’s office remains closed to the public, except through the use of drop boxes, mail, online forms and phone calls.
Though the closure of the county courthouse has come across to the public as the office being completely closed, Supervisor and Elections Coordinator Melinda Humphries reiterated that there are several ways to renew vehicle tags and utilize the Clerk’s office’s services.
“If the tags for the vehicles are not expired, then they can renew online at drive.ky.gov,” said Humphries.
She then went on to explain that the office has been following updates from the Christian County Health Department to see the numbers decrease before planning to reopen.
Even after the numbers decrease in the county, Humphries stated that the number of people allowed within the building will still be enforced.
Humphries continued to comment on other aspects that will go into the decision to reopen, such as how many people will have to wait outside in the cold and for how long.
The Clerk’s office has also seen positive cases within their department, Humphries stated.
“There’s not enough people here ... to work if we’re not well. There have been times since October (where) we’ve had to shut it down — we couldn’t process anything because people weren’t here,” said Humphries.
In order for it to not shut the office down, the department is utilizing non-contact services, continued Humphries.
Since there is not a lot of space in the office and long wait times between services, Humphries voiced that the move to continue to not allow the public in the office as well as the staff practicing social distancing has cut down on exposure risks.
She also stated that those who have used the dropbox service have told staffers how easy they believed the service was.
Having the drop boxes and being able to mail in renewals has saved people time they would’ve once waited in line for, Humphries explained.
“There’s a lot of positive things that have come out of this that we are going to maintain,” she said.
Although the Christian County Clerk’s Office has remained closed to the public, the Todd County Clerk’s Office reopened to the public last June according to Todd County Clerk, Cindy O’Bryan.
The Todd County office added in a plexiglass barrier, enforced a smaller capacity to practice social distancing and is requiring guests to wear masks.
“We had people come from other counties whose clerk’s offices had not opened to foot traffic yet,” said O’Bryan.
Opening to the public helps out the residents and other clerks, O’Bryan shared.
She continued to state that being able to talk to people face-to-face and see the paperwork that someone has brought in makes things easier, allowing the office to give those asking questions the right answers.
When the office was closed, the clerks were busy catching up on services and requests that were mailed in, she said.
O’Bryan explained that her office was lucky when it came to those being on top of renewals and requests, which have continued to keep their office consistent with work.
“We do our best to take care of our Todd County (residents) but there are those who come in from surrounding counties,” O’Bryan said.
Just as Todd County, the Trigg County Clerk’s Office is also open to the public.
Carmen Finley, Trigg County’s Clerk, said that the office has been fortunate to open their drive-through window to assist the public. The window has been a blessing, Finley continued to share.
Before the pandemic, she said, the Clerk’s Office had never used the drive-through feature of the building. The building it currently operates out of was once a bank building, according to Finley.
After working out some drive-through speaker issues, Trigg County Clerk’s Office has seen no issues with the service.
She also wanted to encourage those who plan on visiting the clerk’s office for renewals to use the drive-through.
Finley expressed that the office has a plan to move only to drive-through service if in-person services had to be stopped.
“Our plan is to stay open as much as possible,” said Finley.
She explained the measures the office is taking to keep everyone safe, which included glass and plexiglass in the office to provide a barrier between the staff and the public.
She continued saying that her office cleans constantly throughout the day, diligently washes their hands and enforces the use of masks.
She also shared that the office has been going in full force and has been consistently busy.
In 2020, Trigg County Clerk’s Office issued 190 marriage licenses, doubling 2019’s numbers, according to Finley.
“We’re trying to do everything we can to protect everyone,” Finley said. “Our job is to serve the people and we want to do all that we can to serve them.”