Med City Ready to "Stay at Home"

Alice Keefe
Created: March 26, 2020 06:48 PM

(ABC 6 News) -- For weeks now Olmsted County and the City of Rochester have been bracing for a 'Stay at Home' order.

"Whether it went into pace or not, certainly we were hoping people would continue to use social distancing, make good decisions about whether they're traveling or not," said Sarah Oslund, the city's communications and engagement director.


On Wednesday, that announcement came.  "We have been preparing not just within our organization, but of course with local partners like the city, but also really importantly, with our county partners," said Olmsted County Administrator Heidi Welsch.

A lot of what both local governments have already done will continue with most public board or commission meetings cancelled or being held remotely, employees working from home when possible and on-street parking restrictions suspended.

"Unless an individual provider changes their plan, people will still be coming by to pick up garbage and recycling. There's still the city services you would normally expect on a day-to-day basis just perhaps a little bit of alternation here or there," Oslund said.

In addition to changes the county's already made to services, marriage license applications will be suspended beginning Friday night until May 4 and the Recycling Center Plus will be closed to the public through April 10.

"Nobody should be out-and-about right now for really any reason other than those things that were exceptions to the governor's list," Welsch said.

Essential services, like wastewater treatment, snow removal, water and electric services, and police and fire response will remain, but officials are asking people to only call 911 with an emergency, as phones have been busy with calls about the governor's new order.

"It's certainly something that's unprecedented for all of us, and we want to make sure that we come out of this looking strong as well," Oslund said. 

For an update on Olmsted County's operations, click here.

For an update on the City of Rochester's operations, click here.

For more information on Governor Walz's order, click here.

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