The office of the Alcorn County Chancery Clerk and it’s courtroom closed earlier this week after several district judges and the local clerk tested positive with the coronavirus.
Chancery Clerk Greg Younger told the Daily Corinthian he tested positive with the virus after developing a bad cough on Wednesday night. After receiving the results from his doctor, he immediately went home to quarantine.
“At that moment I advised my staff in the Chancery Clerk’s office to get tested as soon as possible,” said Younger. “Thankfully all staff members tested negative.”
The Fillmore Street chancery building was closed to the public on Thursday afternoon for a deep clean that included heavy disinfecting of all areas. It reopened Friday under a semi-lockdown protocol with controlled access similar to what was in place when the pandemic began last spring.
Younger confirmed two judges from the First Chancery Court District which includes seven other counties are also in quarantine with COVID-19. Judges Brad Tennyson of Booneville and Stephen Bailey of Saltillo both have the virus and are home with mild symptoms.
Both judges intend to carry on court business remotely and by video conference.
“We recently received over $20,000 in computers and software from the Supreme Court to facilitate video conferences in court. We don’t have ours connected yet, unlike some of the other counties in our district,” added Younger. “We are making it a priority, however, in light of current circumstances.”
Younger said one of the judges was scheduled for court in Alcorn County next week, but he anticipates those cases to be continued.
Another blow to the local court system came last week with the death of Alcorn County Youth Court Judge Jimmy Fisher who passed away from complications with the coronavirus.
“We are terribly distraught about his passing and continue to pray for his family,” said Younger.
Even with the semi-lockdown protocol in place, staff at the local Chancery office will continue to accept fillings to be recorded through the Fillmore Street side door under an order from the state Supreme Court. They will admit title researchers, but will follow CDC guidelines including the wearing of face coverings, social distancing and sanitizing.
In the meantime, the Chancery Clerk is hopeful the public will get serious about the deadly coronavirus.
“I am more concerned about the virus now than I have been at any time in the past year,” said Younger, who continues to have a deep, bronchial cough and has had a high fever a few times during the first few days of his sickness.
“Wearing a mask in public is extremely important – I know that now first hand,” he added. “Also keep your distance from other people and sanitize or wash hands whenever you have the opportunity. Folks should really stay home, too, if they can and get vaccinated as soon as it becomes available to you.”
Those with questions concerning the Alcorn County Chancery Clerk’s office and current court proceedings should contact 662-286-7700.