With the switch to a "Stay Safe Minnesota" plan by Governor Walz, Steele County reopened some of its facilities on June 1. A press release from the county states residents should "be aware that all services will not be 'business as usual,' as some departments will be requesting the public to make appointments for services."

Officials ask those who come into any country office or building to wear a cloth mask, maintain social distance, and followed posted signs and instructions. Many services are still available through their website co.steele.mn.us or by making a phone call.

The Steele County Administration Center at 630 Florence Avenue is now open to the public, though its recommended you call to make an appointment for the service you need. By doing that, "this will assist in faster service with shorter wait times and/or reduce the number of people waiting in line," the news release indicates.

Offices at the administration center include the assessor, auditor, facilities and maintenance department, geographic info systems, human resources, planning and zoning, recorder/registrar, treasurer/finance, and veteran's services.

Building permit applications can be found online and completed forms can be mailed, emailed, or placed in the drop box in the front of the building. Passport processing is only by appointment. Call 507-444-7450. Veterans services are by appointment. No walk-ins will be taken. Call 507-444-7460.

Regarding other Steele County facilities, the Four Seasons Centre is closed and all activities are canceled. The landfill is open regular hours for county residents. Monday through Friday 7:30 am - 4:30 pm and Saturday 8 am - 1 pm.

Public Health still offers essential services. Schedule an appointment or get information by calling 507-444-7650. The public works facility is open.

The Steele County Courthouse remains on restricted access through June 15 by an order of sheriff Lon Thiele which was updated on May 27, 2020, "Only essential staff, officers of the courts and people with scheduled court hearings will be allowed into the Steele County Courthouse."

Find the full news release with detailed information and phone numbers here.