Rochester, MN (KROC-AM News) - Olmsted County has declared a health emergency due to the COVID-19 pandemic and will begin limiting access to County public facilities tomorrow.

A news release says the restrictions were ordered to protect the health and safety of staff and the entire community. The change that will impact the public the most will be the closing of counter services for public records and licensing, including passports and driver's licenses. County officials note they will be able to continue providing many services via phone and online requests. A dropbox will also be placed near the information desk for applications, requests for certificates, and tax payments.

The Olmsted County Sheriff's Office service window for civil warrants will also be closed, along with the Dodge Fillmore Olmsted Community Corrections window.

The news release below lists all of the affected services and programs.

Olmsted County Services

Olmsted County will continue to provide essential services to our residents, but it is prudent to limit public access to our facilities at this time. Effective Wednesday, March 18, the following changes will be made to our services:

· The Government Center building will remain open but counter services for public records and licensing, such as passports and driver’s licenses, will be closed. We will be able to continue providing many services via phone and online, and a drop-box will be placed near the information desk for applications, requests for certificates, and tax payments. Property, Records, and Licensing can be reached by calling 507-328-7670.

The Sheriff’s Office service window for civil warrants at the Government Center and Dodge Fillmore Olmsted (DFO) Community Corrections window will also be closed. DFO Community Corrections can be reached at 507-328-7200.

· The following Olmsted County buildings at our Campus Drive S.E. location will be closed to the public: 2117, 2100, and 2122. This will affect counter service for public programs including:

-Building 2117:Child and Family Services, Housing (HRA) and Food, Cash & Health Care Assistance. Child and Family Services can be reached at 507-328-6400. For Food, Cash and Health Care Assistance, please call 507-328-6500. The Housing & Redevelopment Authority can be reached by calling 507-328-7150.

-Building 2100: Public Health Services, such as Women, Infants and Children (WIC) clinics, Adult and Family Services, and Veteran Services. Public Health can be reached at 507-328-7500 (COVID-19 questions 507-328-4636). Veteran Services can be reached at 507-328-6355. Adult and Family Services can be reached at 507-328-6400.

-Building 2122: Planning services such as applications for permits and GIS services. Building, well, and septic inspection services are available and can be scheduled online and by phone. Contact the Planning Department directly about building, permit, and land use application submittals at 507-328-7100.

These temporary closures will be in effect until April 6. During this time, we will continue delivering many of our services through alternate means and will be working to design new ways of delivering services that currently depend on face-to-face contact. Residents are encouraged to check our website for updates.

All emergency services in public safety and in health, housing, human services, will continue to be delivered even though lobbies and waiting areas may be closed to the public.

Olmsted County Public Meetings

The March 24 Board of Commissioners and committee meetings are canceled.

All other public meetings, advisory boards, and commissions are canceled until April 6.

Other Olmsted County Facilities, Events, and Activities

The following additional facilities, events, and activities are also closed or postponed, effective March 18:

County Parks – all county parks buildings are closed through April 6, including the Oxbow Park Nature Center, Zollman Zoo, and park offices. All classes and education programs will also be canceled through April 30. Oxbow, Root River, and Chester Woods parks and trails will remain open.

Graham Park Facilities – will not be taking reservations or events through April 30, with the exception of the Farmer’s Market in Building 35.

Waste-to-Energy Facility – tours are canceled through April 6.

Hazardous Waste Facility and Recycling Center Plus– closed through April 6.

Compost Site – closed through April 6.

Community Services Volunteer Driver Program – suspended until further notice.

Minnesota Third Judicial District Court – consistent with all Minnesota courts, the Third Judicial District Court facilities, including service windows, will remain open. The public is discouraged from making any non-essential visit to court facilities. All jury trials currently underway will continue until the trial is complete. Depending on priority rating, some trials will proceed as scheduled and some will be suspended for 14 days. The Minnesota Judicial Branch has defined case priorities categories. Please contact the court for specific information on individual cases.

 

Further Information

Olmsted County will continue to provide information as it becomes available. More information about changes to our services can be found on our website. Information on COVID-19 and community partner information can be found on our Public Health page.

You can also subscribe to news updates on www.olmstedcounty.com and follow @OlmstedCounty on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.

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