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Corvallis, Benton County look to open more facilities
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Corvallis, Benton County look to open more facilities

Corvallis and Benton County continue to move forward on steps to reopen facilities in line with state orders on coronavirus recovery.

County offices will reopen to the public at 8 a.m. Tuesday, said County Administrator Joe Kerby in a press release.

Members of the public will face “check-in” stations in the entry way of each county facility. The stations will have hand sanitizer and face masks available. Face masks will be required for both members of the public and employees.

Individuals who feel sick or have symptoms will not be admitted and will be requested to conduct business with the county via email or telephone.

“The safety of county employees is our top priority,” Kerby said. “We spent the past two weeks preparing our offices to reopen. Although the doors to our county buildings are open to the public we do have limited staffing, and limited space in some of our lobbies. We encourage calling before arriving so appointments can be set up if necessary.”

The city of Corvallis, meanwhile, made a series of announcements about reopening during its weekly remote COVID-19 briefing. Here is a look at what is new:

• Tennis courts and pickleball courts will open Friday for singles play only.

• Residents can reserve city picnic shelters beginning with June 1. Gatherings will be limited to 25 people and all participants must be Benton County residents.

• Permanent restroom facilities at Riverfront, Willamette and MLK parks will reopen June 1, although the porta-potties at those facilities will remain in place at least temporarily.

• Corvallis City Manager Mark Shepard said that the city has received strong interest from the community for reopening softball leagues. Shepard said that such a move could occur as early as June 14.

• No dates were available for the reopening of City Hall and other city offices. Shepard said that by June 1 there might be a couple of facilities that will open by appointment only.

“We’re still working on our plans,” Shepard said. “We want to be phased and cautious. We need to make sure sneeze guards and plexiglass are in place. There are lot of details to be worked out: masks, barriers, which doors can be open."

• In response to a question from a councilor Shepard said that it will be “quite awhile” before the city starts scheduling meetings of its advisory boards and commissions. During the pandemic only the City Council and bodies whose work requires public hearings have held sessions.

Shepard said that a lot of city staffers that usually support the work of boards and commissions have been reassigned to the emergency operations center to work on virus-related projects.

Contact reporter James Day at jim.day@gazettetimes.com or 541-812-6116. Follow at Twitter.com/jameshday or gazettetimes.com/blogs/jim-day.

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