CLAY CENTER — Clay County on Wednesday announced its plan to lock down county-owned facilities over concern for the spread of the novel coronavirus disease, or COVID-19, even as county employees continue working there to serve the public and assist customers remotely.

Effective immediately, the exterior doors of all county-owned facilities will be locked, said the news release, which was forwarded to area media by Clay County Emergency Manager Tim Lewis. Elected officials and other county employees will remain at work durikng normal business hours and will be providing all county services.

Residents and customers with business to transact at the Clay County Courthouse or another county facility should call the appropriate office on the telephone and try to take care of their needs remotely.

“Each department is set up to resolve most business needs for residents online at their county department websites,” the county news release states. “Our staff will be able guide any resident who needs additional assistance, in addition to what the websites for each department allow, so that our customers can complete their mission.”

A listing of departments and their phone numbers is available on the Clay County website: https://claycounty.ne.gov/.

Customers needing direction from the county or district courts are encouraged to check with their attorneys, or the state courts websites, the news release states.

“We ask residents to help our communities return to normal operations sooner than later, by following the guidelines established by our Governor’s Emergency Declaration and the guidance from our partners at South Heartland District Health Department,” the county said.

“Clay County has no confirmed cases, but we as citizens must do our part to prevent that. This virus is continuing to spread because people are not following the directions of their state governments and the local health districts. We as citizens can make the difference and stop this virus before it begins to kill more people. Self-quarantine as directed, wash your hands, cough or sneeze into a tissue and throw it away or into your elbow as an alternative, don’t go to work if you have the potential of exposing others or if you are ill. Follow your local, regional and state officials.

“There is a health emergency in our state and our governor has made it very clear that he is giving us the tools to beat this virus. We as community members just must be responsible and act accordingly.”

Residents with questions on how to obtain county services in these new working conditions can call the Clay County Clerk’s office at 402-762-3463.

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