Government office closures, changes due to coronavirus

Government office closures, changes due to coronavirus
File photo (Source: Pixabay)

BATON ROUGE, La. (WAFB) - The following are parish and city government offices that have announced reopening dates and changes in operating procedures during Louisiana Governor John Bel Edwards’ Phase One reopening plan.

This list will be continuously updated. Check back frequently for new details.

REOPENING MAY 18

ASCENSION PARISH

Ascension Parish President Clint Cointment says all parish government offices will reopen to the public with normal business hours Monday, May 18.

Cointment says people visiting government buildings will be required to wear their own face masks or face coverings.

Social distancing practices will be in place at all parish government offices and visitors are limited to one person per party.

The Parish President also says plastic dividers have been installed in the offices and all parish employees interacting with the public will be wearing facemasks.

Cointment also encourages everyone in the parish to follow the guidelines from the Centers for Disease and Prevention (CDC).

“Our goal is to keep everyone, the public and employees alike, safe and healthy,” said Cointment.

Cointment wants to remind the public most interactions with the parish government can be carried out on the phone or on the parish’s website by clicking here.

“I want people to be sure to know that their parish government has never stopped working on their behalves,” said Cointment. “Administrators have been working from home and our DPW and drainage crews have been safe-distancing during alternating shifts to stay current with parish needs.”

Cointment says each municipality will issue its own office procedures.

Chief Sherman Jackson says that the Gonzales Police Department will reopen to the public on Monday, May 18.

The business office will be open Monday through Thursday from 7:30 a.m. - 4:00 p.m., and will continue to close on Friday at 11:15 a.m.

If you need immediate police assistance, the call button outside of the department is monitored 24 hours a day, seven days a week for your convenience.

The Gonzales Police Department will resume issuing bartender licenses on Monday and Tuesday from 8:00 a.m. - 11:00 a.m.

Background checks will be available Monday through Thursday from 12:00 p.m. - 3:30 p.m. and on Friday 8:00 a.m. - 11:00 a.m. Officers will also resume fingerprinting as long as you have your own card provided to you by your employer.

Although the office will be open, people are still encouraged to continue to pay fines and fees online or by phone if possible.

WEST BATON ROUGE PARISH

Beginning Monday, May 18th the West Baton Rouge Parish Admin Building at 880 North Alexander Ave, Port Allen will be open to the public during normal business hours 8:00AM to 5:00PM Monday thru Thursday and 8:00AM to 12:00PM Friday.

· Beginning May 18th the West Baton Rouge Parish Courthouse will be open to the public during normal business hours from 8:30AM to 4:30PM Monday thru Friday.

· The public will only be allowed entrance thru the front doors of the Admin Building and the Courthouse facing LA1.

· A screening station will be set up to check temperatures, and ask a series of questions in regards to any potential exposure to the COVID-19 Virus.

· The public will be required to wear a protective mask and only a certain number will be allowed in the building at one time in order to make sure social distancing is maintained.

· We continue to encourage conducting WBR Parish business on-line, by phone, or by using the drive-thru window whenever possible.

· WBR Parish Community Centers, play grounds, splash pads, William and Lee Swimming Pool and WBR fitness equipment will remain closed.

· Tennis Courts and Baseball Fields will be allowed minimum access and must be scheduled through our Recreation Department. No tournaments, games or scrimmage games will be allowed. Parents have to remain in their vehicles and not be allowed to congregate around the field. Coaches and players are advised to practice social distancing.

· The above procedures are consistent with the Governor’s Office Phase 1 and CDC recommendations to protect our citizens and employees during these unprecedented times.

PARISHES & CITIES THAT HAVE NOT RELEASED REOPENING INFORMATION

EAST BATON ROUGE PARISH

  • Due to repeated violation of CDC recommendations regarding physical distancing and the governor’s mandate against people gathering in groups of more than ten people, BREC will close Frenchtown Road Conservation Area on weekends beginning Friday, April 3 at 5 p.m. until further notice. The park will remain closed throughout the day Saturday and Sunday and reopen at its normal time Monday. People will be able to hike the trails during weekdays as long as guidelines are followed.
  • The Jewel J. Newman Community Center Food Pantry will be closing after the week of March 30. The food pantry will be open Thursday, April 2 from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. to serve current clients. Those picking up food should bring a picture ID and a cardboard box. The food pantry continues to prioritize the health and safety of its staff, volunteers, and clients by implementing a drive-thru pickup as the nation deals with the COVID-19 pandemic.
  • The East Baton Rouge District Attorney’s Office will be closed to the general public March 23 through April 6.
  • Effective Monday, March 23, all city-parish buildings, including City Hall and all community centers, will be closed to the public and restricted to essential city-parish personnel through Thursday, April 30. Residents with questions should call 225-389-3000 or click here.
  • Beginning Thursday, March 19, the East Baton Rouge Parish Sheriff’s Office will close its offices to the public and suspend routine, in-person services. Deputies will continue to perform regular patrols and criminal operations. Additional services will be available to the public online and over the phone. Walk-in reports at substations will now have to made over the phone by calling 225-389-5000 for non-emergencies. EBRSO’s Tax and Fine offices in City Hall on St. Louis Street will be closed to the public. Extensions are being granted on deadlines, but residents can continue to pay their taxes online or via mail. Tickets can also be paid online here. EBRSO Headquarters, located at 8900 Jimmy Wedell Dr., is closed to the public. Criminal records can be requested and paid for beginning March 23 via the sheriff’s office website. The parish prison is also closed to the public. Bond can be made at the front gate and inside the front lobby. Attorney visits are allowed by phone or video only. Call 225-389-5000 with questions.
  • The East Baton Rouge Parish Library will be closing all locations to the public starting Tuesday, March 17 and will remain closed temporarily closed until Monday, April 6.
  • All Macy’s stores are closing nationwide at the end of the day on Tuesday, March 17 through March 31 due to the coronavirus threat, the company said. This includes all Macy’s, Bloomingdales, the Outlet, and Market by Macy’s stores.
  • Louisiana Department of Children and Family Services (DCFS) has decided to close to visitors starting Tuesday, March 17. They will provide customer service only by phone, email, and online.
  • Beginning Thursday, March 19 through Monday, March 30, the Louisiana State Capitol will be closed to the public; legislative staff will work remotely. The capitol will reopen March 31 when the legislature is set to reconvene.
  • Effective Wednesday, March 18, public access to Zachary City Hall and the City Annex is being limited. Call will be answered during regular business hours (7 a.m. to 5:30 p.m.) Monday through Friday. Payments for utilities can be mailed to City of Zachary, P.O. Box 310, Zachary, LA, 70791. The city also has two night drop boxes: one in front of the City Hall Annex Building to the left of the Utility Cashier door and one on the west side of the City Hall Annex at the south end of the parking lot. No cash is accepted in the drop boxes. Residents can also pay by phone at 225-654-6871. A 3% convenience fee will be charged.

IBERVILLE PARISH

  • DPW and utility offices will only be open three days per week

LIVINGSTON PARISH

  • Livingston Parish government offices and offices of the Livingston Parish Council are closed from Monday, March 23 to April 30. The Livingston Parish Office of Homeland Security and Emergency Preparedness (LOHSEP) will address any emergency situations. Call LOHSEP at 225-686-3066.

ST. HELENA PARISH

  • All parish government offices are closed for two weeks effective Monday, March 23. All parish employees should be prepared to return to work Monday, April 6. Employees should self-quarantine as much as possible during this time. All boards and commissions are discontinuing public meetings until April 6.

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