This image shows a microscopic view of the COVID-19 virus.

Several Sully County employees are in quarantine due to close contact with a person identified as having COVID-19.

With the virus hitting so close to home, commissioners, already meeting in special session for legal and personnel issues, declared an emergency and adopted a policy that aligns with Centers for Disease Control (CDC) recommendations and the policy adopted by the State of South Dakota.

County employees who are quarantined must fill out a form regarding their COVID-19 encounter and reason for needing to quarantine. Commissioners approved 80 hours of COVID leave for each employee. If due to ongoing COVID-19 issues employees must take more time, they must use personal leave, sick leave, or leave without pay.

Since highway employees work largely in isolation and have few interactions with the public, exposed highway workers will continue their essential infrastructure jobs. Procedures for quarantining exposed courthouse employees, who have more direct contact with the public, will be established.

At their regular meeting on September 1, commissioners will reaffirm the policy retroactive to the August 7 special meeting.