Rochester, MN (KROC-AM News) - Olmsted County will begin reopening its facilities to the public in phases next Wednesday as the state's easing of coronavirus-related restrictions continues.

A news release says the County plans to begin reopening the Government Center and specific services in what is being described as a "cautious, phased approach" to protect the health and safety of employees and the public. The first phase will cover in-person services involving property records and licensing, including drivers licenses and ID cards, birth and death certificates, marriage licenses, recording of real estate documents, and property tax services or payments.

“For phase one of our reopening, we looked at areas in the county where there has been a backlog since our buildings closed in March. A good example would be driver’s license and passport services. To get back to providing face-to-face services like that in a COVID-19 world, many things will be changing, and the experience will be very different for visitors,” Welsch explained. “Employees will be wearing masks. You’ll see new plexiglass shields. Visitors will be asked to schedule arrival times and floors will be marked to indicate where people can stand. These are just a few of the changes we’re implementing, and it will take time to adapt to this new way of doing business. We appreciate everyone’s patience and grace as we reopen our doors.”

Anyone meeting driver's license services can utilize a new Olmsted County Online Check-in system to schedule an arrival time after it's unveiled next week. County officials say it will increase efficiency and minimize the lines of people waiting for services.

Olmsted County Sheriff's Office will also begin accepting applications for permits to carry by appointment only. The Civil Warrants window on the 2nd floor of the Government Center will also be open.

The news release says other County offices in the building will remain locked and the offices for the City of Rochester will still be closed. Anyone seeking additional information about the phased reopening is asked to visit the Olmsted County website.

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