County government plans phased re-opening

Protocols aim to ensure safety of workers, visitors

Anyone entering an Oakland County government building beginning May 26 will have their temperature checked and must wear a face covering before entering as the county begins a gradual restoration of operations that were restricted in response to the coronavirus pandemic.

County Executive David Coulter said the health monitoring and facial covering requirements are among the more visible policies instituted in all county buildings to help ensure the safety of county employees and visitors to county buildings.

“We believe these policies and other steps we have taken will help keep visitors to our county buildings – and our employees – safe and healthy,” Coulter said. “Our team has worked very hard evaluating each building, its public spaces and offices, to determine how we can best serve the public and our employees while maintaining appropriate social distancing and other health protocols. The pandemic has changed our lives. This is the new normal for the foreseeable future.”

During the “Stay at Home” order, county government services were provided online, through virtual appointments and with county employees equipped to telework.

Starting on May 26, the county will begin a phased return to onsite services with new safety protocols in place.

A host of modifications have been made in lobbies, waiting areas, other public spaces and offices in county buildings to ensure social distancing, including placing markings on floors and plexiglass dividers. Signs posted at building entrances alert the public and employees to the new protocols.

The pandemic caused the county to limit in-person services and postpone others, closing off access to government buildings. Beginning May 26, most county departments will begin taking appointments. Oakland County Circuit Court and most other district courts will continue to do the bulk of their work using video conferencing.

The County Clerk and Register of Deeds will take appointments for such services as obtaining a marriage license or passport, as well as other services. It is best to contact the desired department for instructions.

The county’s Department of Human Resources has created a digital COVID-19 Safety Playbook that details roles and responsibilities for county employees, cleaning and disinfecting practices, building spaces where facial coverings must be worn and what personal protective equipment is required. The Playbook is available for download by cities, villages and townships to give them a framework as they prepare to reopen or expand services that were limited.

“This isn’t about ensuring you follow the rules; it’s about doing our best to protect our fellow employees and visitors, which also means we are protecting our families and those that are most vulnerable,” Coulter said in the Playbook. “As Oakland Together, we can come back safely and serve the community that we love.”

The documents may be found at OakGov.com under Government Agencies toolkits.

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