Phone Calls, Online Payment Encouraged as Government Offices Adjust to COVID-19

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Local cities, school districts, the county and state agencies are changing the way they do businesses due to the coronavirus, including closing to the public and/or curtailing direct interaction with staff.

With the COVID-19 situation constantly shifting, here is a roundup of basic information on operations across the region as they stand on March 18.

County of Humboldt:
Several county offices are closed to the general public at this time, including the board of supervisors, who are available by phone or email. Others are open but operating on a modified basis, and phone calls rather than in-person contact are encouraged. Jail visitations have been suspended. For a full list of each department's status and more details, click here.

Libraries:
All branches of Humboldt County libraries are closed for now. Borrowers might receive late notices but all fees are being waived. Read more here.

Airport:
The California Redwood Coast-Humboldt County Airport is currently open seven days a week and, in response to COVID-19, staff has implemented additional cleaning measures in the terminal and office areas. In addition, temporary public hand-washing stations have been installed at the two primary terminal entrances. Starting in April, United Airlines is reducing its Humboldt County service schedule, with two arrivals/departures to San Francisco and one arrival/departure to Los Angeles. For more information, contact United Airlines at www.united.com or by phone at (800) 864-8331.

City of Arcata:
Access to city hall is limited and face-to-face interaction with city staff will only be available by appointment. Arcata & Mad River Transit will operate with reduced bus service until further notice. For detailed city information from bill paying to what parks remain open, visit www.cityofarcata.org.

City of Blue Lake:
Community members are being asked to use the two payment drop boxes at city hall for water and wastewater payments. Blue Lake has implemented “one person at the counter” and “stay behind the blue line” rules for those who come inside. The city will also be working to implement an online payment system, along with the ability to email out water bills to those who request it. For more information, visit the city’s Facebook page at www.facebook.com/bluelakeca.

City of Eureka:
The city is encouraging residents to contact staff via phone or its website, but some departments are taking conducting business in person by appointment. For more information visit www.ci.eureka.ca.gov and click on the COVID-19 information link.

City of Ferndale:
Residents are encouraged to mail in any invoices to city hall but those seeking to meet with staff or make a payment in person need to make an appointment by calling 786-4224. For more information visit www.ci.ferndale.ca.us/city-hall-operations.

City of Fortuna:
City hall is closed to the general public, except by appointment or by calling 725-7600. Payments to the city can be made via www.municipalonlinepayments.com/fortunaca or over the phone. For more information, view the city’s release at www.friendlyfortuna.com.

City of Rio Dell:
Access to city hall and the police department for normal business will be by appointment only, likely starting before the close of business on Friday. Residents are encouraged to make payments via the drop box, online or by phone. A COVID-19 specific newsletter will more information is expected to be posted online at www. cityofriodell.ca.gov on March 19 and will be sent to residents via direct mailer.

City of Trinidad:
No information was immediately but will be update when operation details become available.

Humboldt County schools:
All Humboldt County schools are now closed or implementing distance learning curriculum. Up-to-date information regarding these closures and meal availability is available at www.hcoe.org/covid-19 or by visiting individual school district websites.

DMV:
Beginning this week, the DMV is allowing some residents to postpone license and registration renewals for 60 days and is asking residents to avoid going to any office. Drivers tests have been canceled at the Eureka branch. For details, visit www.dmv.ca.gov.

State Parks:
While the campgrounds and visitor facilities at California State Parks are temporarily closed, trails, beaches and other day-use areas remain open. Camping reservation holders will be contacted via email for refunds.

For the Journal's latest COVID stories, updates and information resources, click here.

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