HANOVER COUNTY, Va. – While public health officials are recommending social distancing and possibly working from home as the world grapples with the COVID-19 pandemic, that is not possible for every profession, including first responders.
Hanover County Sheriff Col. David R. Hines said that while the unknown of the coronavirus is rattling nerves, his deputies took an oath and will protect and serve.
"I can tell you we've never dealt with a crisis quite like this where travel has been suspended,” Hines said. “We've had Swine Flu, SARS, Ebola and even anthrax where items were being mailed."
Additionally, deputies are suspending a fingerprint program and asking citizens that have flu-like or cold symptoms to go to the bathroom and wash their hands before meeting with officers.
Officials are also considering more teleconference hearings at the courthouse, which will reduce prisoner and public interaction.
"Business for us is usual with more precaution,” Hines explained. “We will do some things we don't normally do daily or after each transport. That's not something we always do, but we want to keep our people protected at work and also their families at home so we want them to wash their uniforms after every shift."