Effective Tuesday, March 17, 2020, the Strafford County Courthouse will be closed to the public, with the following exceptions:

  • Individuals who need to do business with Circuit and Superior Court clerk’s offices;

  • Individuals involved in court hearings permitted by the New Hampshire Supreme Court Order dated March 16, 2020; and

  • Individuals with pre-approved business with County or State personnel.

For those entering the Courthouse, a brief survey will be conducted to ensure the health and safety of yourself and personnel.

All essential State and County personnel will be allowed into the building to conduct business. Please be supportive and patient as we work together to fight this pandemic and keep our personnel safe. We thank you in advance for your support and cooperation.

Based on the potential devastating effects of the Coronavirus (Covid-19), we are taking all steps suggested by the Center for Disease Control (CDC) to deter the disease’s progress. Strafford County’s Team has been working diligently and the closure of the Courthouse was determined the best course of action to continue to protect staff from the likely spread of the Corona virus (Covid-19).

                                                                        Raymond F. Bower

                                                                        Raymond F. Bower

                                                                        County Administrator



Dear IDN and Strafford County Colleagues,

There have been several conversations in Strafford County communities recently about opportunities to support our homeless neighbors during cold weather.

The goal of this message (and Facebook post @SCEmergencyShelter) is to raise awareness about the Strafford County Extreme Cold Emergency Shelter – what it is, what it is not, how it runs, when it runs, and how neighbors can help each other through connection with the shelter.

Planning for the Strafford County Extreme Cold Weather Emergency shelter has been underway since February of 2019. Planning accelerated in September of 2019. The Shelter is a collaboration between your Strafford County government, the Integrated Delivery Network in Region 6 (Strafford/Seacoast), and a number of regional social service partners. It is not associated with the Tri-City Mayor’s Task Force or addressed in the Tri-City Mayor’s Task Force Plan.

The Strafford County Extreme Cold Weather Emergency shelter is a resource available to the region when one or more Strafford County communities advise the County that their ability to shelter homeless residents in their city or town has been overwhelmed and they need help responding to a real, objectively identified risk to life-safety caused by weather, just as any other mutual aid support would work in an emergency or disaster situation.

Community leaders and the Tri-City Mayor’s Task Force have been advised of this model, and of the County’s expectation that cities/towns must mount some type of response effort to shelter the homeless population within their community before the County shelter can activate. County leadership and advisors also consider intelligence from NH Homeland Security weather briefings and regional homeless shelter partner capacity in their decision-making process to activate the Emergency Cold Weather Shelter.

If the shelter is activated/opened, it will be at 272 County Farm Road in the same space as last year – the top floor of the Alms House in the building shared with Southeastern NH Services. The shelter space is handicapped accessible, although it requires staff assistance for those with mobility support needs. The shelter is considered ‘low-barrier’, which means we work to make safe shelter available to everyone, regardless of conditions that may impact access to traditional shelters.

Shelter openings will be announced through the Facebook Page @SCEmergencyShelter (Strafford County Emergency Cold Weather Shelter), through email distribution lists, on other social media, and via traditional media with at least 48 hours notice whenever possible.

There are active plans for transportation options to ensure anyone in need can access the shelter. Shuttle service from the Dover Transportation Center will be available whenever COAST bus routes are not available. Detailed transportation plans will be announced with each activation, as plans do vary depending on the event circumstances.

Information about volunteer (and training) opportunities, donation opportunities (supplies and meals), and staffing opportunities (shelter managers and skilled staff) will be posted on the Facebook page and, whenever possible, posted to other media outlets.

The Shelter team can be reached at<>. The phone number for the Shelter team is (857)-323-0388.

Thank you for your amazing work serving our most vulnerable neighbors. It is a privilege to work with you all.

Tory Jennison PhD, RN
Director of Population Health
Integrated Delivery Network
Region 6 (Strafford/Seacoast)


COVID-19 update.

All individuals on the county complex continue to work diligently to decrease the risk of transmission of COVID-19 into any building.

We remain closed to all non-essential individuals.

Individuals employed and those who need to enter to conduct essential business continue to go through screening prior to entry to any building. In addition to screening all those that enter the buildings are wearing a face covering when they are within 6 feet of others, this is to achieve source control as many people can be asymptomatic or pre-symptomatic carriers. The masks are intended to decrease the risk of potential transmission of the virus to others. We wear the masks to protect others. A face covering is either a cloth masks with a minimum 2 layers of fabric or a surgical/procedure mask. All buildings continue to aggressively keep anyone out of the building that has had exposure to the virus as well as those that are symptomatic.

The House of Corrections(HOC), Riverside Rest Home (RRH) and The Strafford County Sheriff's Office (SCSO) continue to conduct routine screenings of everyone that reside in the buildings. Both facilities have also identified specific areas to move individuals if anyone is identified as having either potential exposure or who has shown symptoms suspicious of COVID-19. The Nursing Home, HOC, and Sheriff’s office all have access to the appropriate Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) to be able to safely interact with any individual that is suspected or is positive for COVID-19.

Testing: Like many others across the nation, we are limited in our availability for testing however we do have access to testing for someone who may become symptomatic. As of today we do not have any positive cases on the Strafford County Complex.

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