TEXARKANA —Anyone with business at the Miller County Courthouse must have their temperature taken and answer a few short questions about recent travels before entering the historic building in downtown Texarkana.
Before the pandemic began to grip the country, the courthouse at Third and Laurel Streets could be entered through multiple entrances on different sides of the building. Hopes of limiting the spread of COVID-19 has led officials to limit access to the basement entrance only, Miller County Judge Cathy Harrison said.
The basement entrance is accessible via a ramp so people with disabilities will not have any trouble getting inside. But before entering, security personnel are checking temperatures and quizzing visitors about their travels. Circuit Judge Carlton Jones said the questions refer to foreign and domestic travel to areas currently experiencing high rates of infection.
Jones said the courthouse is open.
Bowie County Judge Bobby Howell said deputies manning the metal detector at the single public entrance to the Bowie County Courthouse are not equipped with thermometers, though a request for them has been made to state health officials. Howell said the security personnel have discretion regarding entrance.
Some offices in the Bowie County Courthouse, which used to enjoy a steady stream of visitors, have now moved to an appointment-only format.
Bowie County District Clerk Jill Harrington and Bowie County Clerk Tina Petty are asking that visits be made with an appointment and are resolving some issues for citizens without a trip to the courthouse.
Other offices, including the tax assessor's office, are closed to the public though drive throughs remain open and business may be conducted online.
Anyone with business at either courthouse is encouraged to call first to determine if a matter can be resolved without a trip or if an appointment is necessary.