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Schools, library closed; court schedule modified

Tyrrell County Public Schools, along with all others across North Carolina, will be closed through Mar. 30, reported Supt. Oliver Holley.

The closure is an effort to stem the spread of the COVID-19 virus.

School staff will continue working to provide supplemental resources and activities that will help students remain engaged in learning while the schools are closed, the superintendent stated in a memo last Saturday.

“Tyrrell County Schools intend to provide meals by utilizing our school buses to provide breakfast and lunch, starting Mar. 16,” Holley announced. “Our district buses will operate by running regular school routes leaving campus at 8 a.m. each morning in an effort to provide meals to our students. We will also operate a district feeding site, which will be housed at Columbia High School, during the following hours: Breakfast 8-9:30 a.m., and Lunch 12-1:30 p.m.”

Parks and Recreation Commission activities have been suspended too, Holley stated.

Tyrrell County Superior Court, which had jury trials scheduled, was cancelled for Mar. 16. The next session is set for June 1.

District Criminal Court will continue its regular sessions, but with many cases continued to later dates, Angie Sexton, Clerk of Superior Court, said. Such matters as incarcerated defendants, bond or probable cause hearings, and domestic violence issues will still be scheduled for regular sessions.

Tyrrell County Public Library will be closed for the remainder of March, Tami Phillips said, adding that other libraries in the Pettigrew region — Chowan, Perquimans, and Washington counties — are closed too.

Town office in Columbia, and all municipal operations, are continuing to operate on regular schedule for now, Rhett White, town manager, said, “but we’re using a lot more Lysol.”

Tyrrell County offices were open Monday, but Manager/Attorney David Clegg issued a memo to all staff emphasizing that “Throughout the next several days, decisions will be made about the functioning of Tyrrell County government. This pandemic does not lend itself to a ‘one size’ fix when given the breadth of the services we offer and mandates we administer.

He cautioned employees to “try to minimize close and prolonged contact with the public and encourage all who come into your area to use hand sanitizer.”

“The bottom line is that although we may have to quickly and drastically alter the way we do it, I know we will energetically and diligently embrace the opportunity to serve the citizens of Tyrrell County in this unprecedented moment,” Clegg wrote.

Local churches had not announced any modification of services or activities as of Monday.

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