Over the past several weeks, Story County has taken actions in response to COVID-19, including closing County government offices to the public, in an effort to protect the health and safety of County employees and the public. Today, because the number of positive COVID-19 cases in Iowa is still continuing to increase, and as Story County has been successful in maintaining essential County government services under these current constraints, and taking into account the statutory requirements for the upcoming primary election, the Board of Supervisors decided to take the actions outlined below.
First, the Board approved the plan developed by Story County Auditor Lucy Martin to use the main lobby in the Administration Building (in Nevada) for early voting starting May 4 through June 1, while keeping other parts of the building closed to the public.
Second, the Human Services Center, Secondary Roads buildings, Conservation Center and the remainder of the Administration Building will continue to be closed to the public, except by appointment, until further notice. The Justice Center remains open to allow access to Courts, with restricted access to the Sheriff’s Office, Jail, and County Attorney’s Office.
Third, the Board instructed Department Heads and requested Elected Officials to allow employees to continue working from home when possible and require other employees to come to the workplace as needed in order to avoid major backlogs while continuing to serve the public. Social distancing protocols should remain in place.
Fourth, the Board of Supervisors outlined the implementation of additional precautions by Elected Officials and Department Heads to help reduce the spread of COVID-19 within Story County governmental operations. These precautions include addressing policies and guidelines for personal protection and hygiene practices; treatments of surfaces and standard operating procedures for daily disinfection; installation of barriers and shields to provide protection when social distancing cannot be accomplished; reconfiguring public gathering and waiting areas; and use of electronic meetings as allowable, as well as other precautionary measures to implement.
The Board of Supervisors is committed to creating an environment safe for employees and the general public. To guide their discussions in regard to employees returning to the workplace and reopening buildings to the public, the Board of Supervisors adopted the following benchmarks:
- Data reflects a 14-day downward trajectory of new COVID-19 positive cases;
- All precautions to help reduce the spread of COVID-19 within Story County government operations are in place; and
- No unanticipated events or trends have occurred which would suggest reconsideration of moving forward.
The Board of Supervisors will review these benchmarks weekly as the situation progresses.