Plan approved for reopening of Sedgwick County facilities

Sedgwick County commissioners have approved a plan to begin reopening some county facilities starting May 26th.

The main courthouse and the juvenile courthouse will be reopening on the 26th, and assistant county manager Tania Cole said there will be signs and barriers in place at customer service points, there will be screening for visitors and they will be provided with masks to wear inside the building.  County staff will also be wearing masks.   Cole said county employees who can continue to work from home will be asked to do so.

Visitors will be screened with a questionnaire and there are also plans to take temperature readings for visitors, but commissioner Jim Howell objected to that.  He said people are not checked for temperature at stores and other areas that have been open to the public.   He said people have a reasonable right to access government and they should have a right to come into the building.    Commissioners voted to leave that requirement out until staff can check with health officials and find out if a temperature screening is necessary.

Some other county facilities, such as the historic courthouse and the Ronald Reagan Building, will remain closed to the public, and Cole said they will be under a phased-in opening process through July 3rd.

The Sedgwick County Jail is tentatively planning to open its lobby on June 15th, and masks will be provided to visitors.  Inmates will do hearings by video if possible, and if not they will be masked, checked for their temperature and taken into the courthouse.

District Court has already announced plans to reopen with some limited operations, but court hearings will be by appointment only and jury trials have been suspended until further notice.

Both tag offices are still open to the public, but residents are encouraged to renew their tags by mail, online or with the iKan app.  If there is a need for title work, residents are asked to call the tag office to make an appointment.   Customers will be limited to 15 people inside the facility when Phase 2 of the state’s reopening plan begins Friday.

The Household Hazardous Waste facility is open to the public, as well as the COMCARE Community Crisis Center.

More details on county agencies are available through the county’s web page at www.sedgwickcounty.org