Isanti County is following a growing number of counties across Minnesota in taking extra precautions in light of the COVID-19 pandemic.
During a break in the March 18 Isanti County Board of Commissioners meeting, Tim Nelson and Deputy County Administrator Lindsey Giese took time to draft a resolution and letter declaring a local state of emergency due to the current, ongoing and potential impacts from the COVID-19 pandemic – both of which were approved by the board upon the meeting reopening.
“During the last break, it came to our attention that 19, I believe, Minnesota counties have now closed for public access and are just working with doors closed and through remote telephone, email, and mail business operations,” Lines told the board. “It’s something I think the board will want to consider at this time, since we are already in a public meeting.”
Beginning at 8 a.m. Thursday, March 19, and continuing through March 31, Isanti County will suspend all non-essential public services. The board will reevaluate the suspension at its April 1 meeting.
The resolution directs the county administrator, director of public health, and the director of emergency management to undertake such actions and request such assistant as needed to protect lives and public and private property in Isanti County and accomplish the recovery of the county from the impacts of the situation to the extent practicable and allowed by law, ordinance and all other relevant authorities.
“The decision was made after much thought and input from county staff and elected officials,” the letter stated. “Isanti County realizes this action will cause a disruption in day-to-day life for many people; the health and safety of county residents was the driving factor behind this decision.”
Buildings will be restricted from the public, but county services and operations will continue to be provided to the community on the same schedule, through both phone and email.
County parks will remain open for use of trails and other open areas, but parks buildings will be closed.
Citizens are encouraged to explore online options for county services, and a list of department contacts can be found on the county website at www.co.isanti.mn.us. If residents do not have internet access, they can call the county administrator’s office at 763-689-3859 and have their call directed to the appropriate department.
Public safety agencies will continue to provide service to the community, as well as the county’s public health and family services departments. Isanti County Public Health continues to monitor the novel coronavirus outbreak.
During the suspension, county staff will continue to formulate plans for continuing to provide services during the pandemic.