Kenosha County will temporarily shut down nonessential services and close most of its facilities to the public by 5 p.m. Wednesday, March 18, County Executive Jim Kreuser announced today.
This step, aimed at preventing the further spread of COVID-19 in the community, was ordered by Kreuser on a recommendation by Dr. Jen Freiheit, director of the Kenosha County Division of Health.
“This is an unprecedented measure that was by no means taken lightly,” Kreuser said. “County government is here to serve people in their times of greatest need. However, we deemed it necessary to put many of our services on hold until our county, our state and our nation have a better handle on this global health crisis.”
Kreuser said the majority of county employees will continue to work from home, handling whatever duties that may be performed remotely. Some public works and human services activities will continue to occur onsite, with measures taken to minimize exposure for the employees who will report to work.
The Division of Health will continue to offer services related to COVID-19, including investigation of suspected and confirmed cases within Kenosha County.
As an essential service, the Sheriff’s Department will remain in operation, although public visitation to the Kenosha County Jail and Detention Center facilities has been suspended.
Brookside Care Center and Willowbrook Assisted Living will also continue to operate, with only limited public visitation for family of residents in hospice care. Staff in these facilities are being screened daily for symptoms of illness before they are allowed to report for work.
Some activity will continue in the Circuit Court, which is administered by the State of Wisconsin.
Under an order issued by Chief Judge Jason A. Rossell, video conferencing will be used in lieu of in-person appearances for many matters, and jury trials will be suspended until after April 20, or until further order by the court. Individuals with matters pending in court are urged to watch for rescheduling of proceedings.
Other temporary changes to county services include:
Kreuser last week issued a Declaration of Emergency in Kenosha County, enabling temporary measures such as those listed above.
The county executive said that while these changes will be difficult to county residents and employees, protecting public health and safety is the Kenosha County’s top priority.
“I appreciate everyone’s cooperation and understanding as we navigate these uncharted waters,” Kreuser said. “I look forward to resuming regular county business at a time when we know that the threat to public health is lower.”