GRANITE FALLS — All Yellow Medicine County offices, with the exception of the Justice Center's main door for essential appearances or business only, are closed to the public effective immediately and until further notice.

The Yellow Medicine County Board of Commissioners decided Friday morning to take the action in response to the expanding COVID-19 pandemic. This was done in consultation with Emergency Management Director Casey Namken.

County Board Chair John Berends and Namken announced the decision to close the buildings to the public. They stated that the county remains in line with guidance for social distancing strategies recommended by both the Minnesota Department of Health and Centers for Disease Control in addition to the governor of Minnesota and the Commissioner of Health.

This action will also help protect staff and the general public from being exposed to potentially sick individuals and spreading the virus to residents, friends and families.

While the offices will be closed to the public, normal county services and operations will continue to be provided to the community on the same schedule, through both phone, email, drop boxes and appointment. Many services can also be done online if necessary and citizens are encouraged to explore those options.

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A listing of department contacts can be found on the county webpage at www.co.ym.mn.gov or by calling the Emergency Management Department at 320-313-3093 or County Administration at 320-564-5841.