As we continue to navigate the road ahead, the well-being of residents, visitors, business community and employees continues to guide the work of Otter Tail County. In the next phase of the preparedness and reopening plan Otter Tail County will reopen county buildings to the public. County administration has worked with departments and staff to ensure services will continue to be provided safely and efficiently to begin moving to more traditional service delivery models. Visitors should be prepared to wear face coverings while in county buildings and are asked to stay home if they are experiencing any symptoms of COVID-19.
“Otter Tail County has been closed since the middle of March while providing most services remotely. Since May, the County transitioned to a preparedness plan expanding services with doors being open to the public starting on July 8,” commented Nicole Hansen, County Administrator. “While the buildings will be opened, the public is encouraged to access services remotely, and, in some cases, appointments will still be required depending upon the department. The reopening of buildings will adjust as necessary because this is a fluid situation, and we will also adapt to any changes from the state. During this pandemic, we have been and will continue to work for the people of OTC.”
Several departments continue to require appointments and will limit the number of people in waiting areas. The public is asked to please call ahead or visit the county website before accessing services at county buildings. Veteran Services, Public Health and the License Center are among those departments that continue to provide services via appointments. Services in the Recorder’s Office and absentee voting do not require appointments. Visit the county website for a complete guide to departmental services or call the department directly.
Visitors are asked to self-screen at the doors using the symptom checklist. If you have symptoms of COVID-19 you are asked to stay home and conduct your business at a later date. Those entering county buildings also need to wear a face mask inside and when meeting face-to face. Face coverings are provided by the county. When attending face-to-face meetings or interacting with employees, visitors may be screened using the public health screening tool. Sneeze guards have been placed at service counters and hand sanitizer and masks are available for public use. The county asks those inside the buildings adhere to masking and the social distancing signs by maintaining six feet between those waiting in lines or sitting in chairs.
County Board of Commissioner meetings will continue to be held in the county board room and streamed live on YouTube. The link to the meetings can be found on the website. The meetings are limited to ten participants in the board room at one time therefore, the meetings cannot accommodate members of the public at this time. However, residents are encouraged to contact their commissioners with questions, concerns, or compliments.