Dear Elected Officials and Department Heads,
Yesterday, Governor Wolf expanded his Stay at Home Order to include Centre County. While this order exempts local governments, the Governor stressed the importance of individuals not leaving their homes unless absolutely necessary. In other words, our residents are only permitted to leave their homes for tasks crucial to sustaining their lives. Given this new guidance, I am writing on behalf of the Board of Commissioners to provide additional direction regarding the continuity of operations for Centre County Government.
Our goal is to keep essential services in place while protecting the health and safety of our employees and the public we serve. Many of our offices that do not provide essential public safety services have already moved to ‘physically closed’ status with employees coming into County buildings only as necessary. Expanding on this, the following directives are in place starting tomorrow – Monday, March 30, 2020:
- For non-Court related offices, there should be no one in the office except to process mail and other documents necessary to ongoing County operations. Beyond this function, exceptions will be considered on a case-by-case basis. All requests for exceptions should be submitted in writing to me and I will respond as quickly as possible. If exceptions are allowed, time in the office should be limited to essential work only; that is, work that cannot be handled remotely and work that is necessary to keep operations moving. Working on back logs or future projects does not qualify under these circumstances as essential.
- For Court related offices, guidance about operations will be provided by the President Judge and Court Administrator.
- Main entrances of the Willowbank, Courthouse, and Courthouse Annex will continue to have deputies posted at those entrances.
- Facilities staff will continue with cleaning and disinfecting sweeps.
While the County is under the ‘Stay-at-Home’ order, limiting physical presence in our County buildings is absolutely necessary. The next several weeks will no doubt result in more Centre County residents being diagnosed with COVID-19. Everything we do now will help to lessen the impact.
If you have any questions or concerns, please do not hesitate to contact me directly.
Thanks to everyone as we work our way through this fast-changing public health crisis.
Margaret N. Gray