As the COVID-19 crisis continues, local government operations are limiting public access, and changing the way they serve residents.  As counties and cities release information, we’ll update you here.


**All USDA county offices are open by phone appointment only until further notice, and FSA staff are available to continue helping agricultural producers with program signups, loan servicing and other important actions.**

Blue Earth County
Blue Earth County has suspended all walk-services, except for emergency and critically high-priority operations.  Services will be available by phone and online.

Public entrances will be closed and signed at high-traffic locations, including – but not limited to – the Government Center, Historic Courthouse, Public Works main/satellite building locations, county offices within the Justice Center (main entrance open for court access), and county libraries.

Brown County
Effective Wednesday, March 25, all county buildings will close until at least April 27.   County employees will still be able to help the public via email, phone and virtual visits.  The county website will have updates and contact information.  The law enforcement lobby will remain open for limited contact to the sheriff’s office and New Ulm Police Department.  Jail visitation is suspended.

Cottonwood County
County offices are closed through at least March 27. Jail access will be restricted, including volunteers and visitation. For services, contact the appropriate county service by phone.

Faribault County
All Faribault County facility doors were locked as of March 19. Public access is severely limited to specific reasons only. The public should direct all inquiries to specific county departments, which can be found online.

Jackson County
County offices were closed March 17. Public access is prohibited, but normal county services and operations will continue to be provided to the community through phone and email. A list of department contacts can be found online.

Nicollet County
Public entry into most county buildings will be prohibited until further notice.  Exceptions are the County Government Center for court and probation services only, and the county sheriff’s office.  Services will still be available through telephone, e-mail, and online.

Le Sueur County
All county public-facing services at the courthouse, justice center, environmental services, and highway department will be closed through April 6, 2020.  Court Administration, probation, and the lobby of the sheriff’s office – all located in the Justice Center – will remain open to the public.  During the closure period, the county will work to define creative solutions for serving residents that do not require person-to-person contact.  Residents requiring services should call the main phone line, at (507) 357-2251.  Staff is also available by email; addresses are listed on the county website.

Renville County
All county offices are closed to the public.  Exceptions will be made for Renville County citizen/client transactions that require in-person visits and cannot be postponed.  These exceptions will require an appointment.  Employees will continue to be available to help the public via email, phone, and virtual visits. A list of department contacts can be found online.

Sibley County
Starting March 23, all county facilities are closed to the public until further notice.  Business will continue and staff will be available by phone or email.  Court administration will continue with scheduled cases only.  A complete list of services can be found online.

Watonwan County
County buildings closed through at least March 27. Walk-in services will not be available except for emergency operations.  Access to Court Administration will be available by phone in the lobby of the sheriff’s office at the south entrance of the courthouse.  Department phone numbers can be found online.


The Intergovernmental Center in the Civic Center Plaza, and Mankato Public Safety on Front Street is restricted for public access.  Critical first-response areas such as police, fire, water, and wastewater utilities, public works operations and street maintenance continue.  Other staff continue to work remotely and can be reached by email or phone.  More information can be found on the city’s COVID-19 page.

  • Utility bills can be paid online, or by phone at 833-245-1941.  Utility payments can also be made by mail to the Intergovernmental Center, or by using the dropbox at the Civic Center Plaza location
  • Water service will not be disconnected for any city of Mankato customers until further notice.  Anyone having difficulty paying a bill should contact staff at 311.
  •  Reservations at city park shelter, facilities, or campgrounds will be cancelled until further notice.  Deposit refunds will be provided once the city is operating at full capacity.  Park restrooms are closed.
  • Building permits and zoning applications may be submitted electronically (flash drive or CD) in the Intergovernmental Center dropbox.  Payments can be made by phone by calling 311.  Building inspections can be scheduled by calling 311.
  • Public housing information for existing tenants – Orness Plaza offices will be closed until further notice.  Housing briefings and tenant re-certifications will be done over the phone with assigned housing specialists.  Staff will be available by phone or email.  Rental payments can be submitted in the Intergovernmental Center dropbox.
  • The city is looking for ways to provide relief to businesses, individuals, and others as the situation evolves.  Payroll services to employees and payment to vendors will move forward.
  • The Mankato Transit system has waived bus fares.  Passengers can ride city buses at no cost, and larger buses will be used to help with social distancing.  Keep track of Mankato bus routes on the Bus Mankato app.

North Mankato
City Hall is closed to the public until further notice, but city staff will continue to work in the facility.  North Mankato staff is offering alternative ways for residents to obtain services:

  • All permit applications may be submitted online, and you may call to make payments.  Contractors needing to pick up a permit or drop off plans may contact City Hall at (507) 625-4141 or email [email protected]
  • Inspections will continue by appointment.  Inspectors may be asking a series of questions regarding exposure to COVID-19 over the phone before conducting an on-site inspection.
  • Utility bills may be dropped in the outside drop boxes (by the mailboxes at City Hall or in front of New 2 You at 1838 Commerce Dr), paid online, by mail, or you may call City Hall.  Questions can be emailed to [email protected]
  • All Caswell Park registrations for summer leagues may be mailed, dropped in the utility drop boxes, or you may call City Hall or email [email protected]
  • Pool passes may be purchased online at, or you may call City Hall or email [email protected]
  • If assistance is needed that may not be resolved remotely, city staff may schedule meetings with residents by request.
  • Garbage and recycling will continue as scheduled.  Questions can be directed to West Central Sanitation at 1-800-246-7630.
  • Residents may contact the Mayor and Council members by email and phone call.  Contact information can be found online.

St. Peter
Chamber/city online meetings will be held online and will focus on economic impacts to LOCAL business.  The next meeting is at  9 a.m. on Friday, March 27.  A link will be emailed to join a video chat with City Administrator Todd Prafke and attendees can ask questions via a chat box.

New Ulm

All playgrounds are closed due to COVID-19.  This includes all play structures, equipment and the Skate Park.  Please stay off all equipment.


The police department facility will be open to limited access only.  Staff will be available by phone and email.  Low priority calls for service may be handled by phone if the presence of a police officer isn’t required.  The medication disposal box has been temporarily removed.  Community members who come to the police station will be triaged.  Police report requests can be emailed to [email protected].


Minnesota Department of Transportation

  • MnDOT maintenance and construction services continue
  • Transportation offices remain open
  • Rest areas statewide are open; restrooms are sanitized every half hour or immediately after multiple people leave a rest area building
  • Roads and state highways remain open
  • All previously scheduled MnDOT-hosted meetings, conferences, training and other programs are postponed.
  • Open houses for construction projects are postponed through at least April 15.

Minnesota Judicial Branch
An order has been issued that restricts access to courthouses for only vital, designated case types, and opens up additional opportunities for remote hearings that must occur during the COVID-19 pandemic.

  • New jury trials will be postponed until at least April 22, and the same applies to grand jury proceedings.
  • Many criminal hearings will be held remotely or postponed until April 22.
  • Courtrooms remain open for business on a limited basis with access to court facilities subject to local conditions.
  • Courts will continue to accept filings of all case types.
  • Public access to courthouses will be limited to case parties and their representatives, and necessary court staff.
  • Media representatives are permitted to attend hearing but otherwise do not have access to facilities.


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