COVID-19 

The Blue Earth County Board of Commissioners have declared a continued state of emergency at a special board meeting on Wednesday, March 18, 2020. Services impacted are listed below. 

Updated: May 20, 5:00 p.m.

Building Closures

Federal, state and county emergency declarations, and guidelines set forth by the Minnesota Department of Health (MDH) limiting interactions, has lead the county to change the way it delivers services to the public. Public entry to the buildings listed below have been suspended indefinitely; County Administration will determine when they may be opened to the public again. Many county services remain available, but staff will deliver these services through phone-based and online outlets. 

The following buildings are restricted for public entry: 

  • Government Center
  • Historic Courthouse
  • Public Works main and satellite building locations
  • County offices within the Justice Center (Justice Center main entrance will remain open for Courts access and limited access to Sheriff’s Office) 
  • County libraries

Service Interruptions 

Human Services 

  • Mental Health Center
    •  Individual therapy and psychiatrist appointments will be conducted over the phone or Telehealth if clients are able. For more information, call 507-304-4319.
  • Financial Assistance
    • Financial workers are available to answer questions. Please call your financial worker directly with questions or the agency at 507-304-4335.
    • To get an application to apply for services: 
      • Call 507-304-4335 for one to be sent to you by mail, fax, or email.
      • Pick one up in the vestibule area of Door A at 410 S 5th Street in Mankato
      • Apply online for cash, food, child care at ApplyMN – applymn.dhs.mn.gov
      • Apply online for health care on MNSURE – mnsure.org
    • To return the application or any other documents for financial assistance, you can:
      • Email them to financialassistance@blueearthcountymn.gov
      • Fax them to 507-304-4336
      • Mail them to 410 S 5th Street, PO Box 3526, Mankato MN 56001
      • Drop them off at 410 S 5th Street in the drop box outside of Door A
  • Licensing (adult, child foster care and family child care)
  • Child Protection
    • If you have a concern about the welfare of a child/ren, please continue to make reports to our intake at 507-304-4444 (M-F 8-5; Sat/Sun/holidays 507-304-4319).
    • Some in-person appointments have been moved to virtual visits.
    • Contact Court Administration at 507-304-4650 for updates about hearings taking place during this time.
  • Public Health
    • Disease Prevention & Control
      • Focused on response to COVID-19. 
    • Women, Infants, and Children (WIC) Clinic
      • Almost all visits being done via telephone.
      • View our WIC phone appointment preparation guide to prepare for your visit. 
      • If a face-to-face contact considered on a case-by-case basis, employing social distancing.
    • Family Home Visiting (First Steps/Next Steps)
      • Almost all visits being done via telephone.
      • If a face-to-face contact considered on a case-by-case basis, employing social distancing.
    • Maternal Child Health
      • Most contacts via phone.
      • Face-to-face visits for high risk infants and employing distancing practices.
    • Home Community Based Services (for 65+)
      • Almost all visits being done via telephone.
      • If a face-to-face contact considered on a case-by-case basis, employing social distancing.
    • Child & Teen Checkups
      • Outreach via telephone.
    • Immtrack
      • Continue to provide and respond to phone inquiries.
    • Tuberculosis Response
      • Active Tuberculosis
        • Continue to provide one face to face visit weekly with social distancing practiced.
        • Still maintaining daily contact through various electronic means.
        • Case management being conducted via telephone whenever possible.
      • Latent TB
        • Medications being mailed.
        • Nursing case management monthly via telephone.
      • Contact Investigations
        • Contact with individuals via phone.
        • Testing for asymptomatic contacts postponed.
        • Testing for symptomatic contact determined on a case by case basis.
    • SHIP
      • Telephone contact with community partners. No face-to-face business being conducted. 
  • Children’s Mental Health
    • Referrals will continue to be accepted for case management services. 
      • Call 507-304-4444 to make a referral. 
  • Substance Abuse Disorders (Chemical Dependency)
    • Referrals will continue to be accepted. 
    • Most providers are conducting Rule 25 Assessments using telehealth alternatives. 
    • SUD Assessment Provider List Link
    • Adult intake and referrals for SUD Assessments, call: 507-304-4145.
    • Adolescent intake and referrals for SUD Assessments, call: 507-304-4444
  • Adult Protection 
    • Continue to report concerns to Minnesota Adult Abuse Reporting Center at 844-880-1574. 
    • Staff will use alternative methods for face-to-face interview to minimize the risks to the vulnerable adult’s health by:
      • Using reliable collateral sources of information. 
      • Coordinating with partners. 
      • Employing phone, pictures, video and other technology.
    • Face-to-face interviews will only be used when there is no other method to meet a critical health and safety need of the vulnerable adult. 
  • Disability Services 
    • Case managers are continuing to meet the needs of the people they serve using methods other than face to face. 
    • Case managers will continue to offer appointments using phone, or the Vidyo platform. 
    • Assessments and reassessments are being completed over the phone to ensure there will not be a lapse in services.
  • Second Step Clubhouse
    • Closed until further notice. 
  • Genoa Pharmacy
    • Medication services available by mail or curbside options.

License Center

  • In-person Driver’s License and ID services are available by appointment only. Click here to make an appointment. 
  • A drop box will be available outside the main License Center doors for community members to drop off appropriate paperwork.
  • The following services are available:
  • Call the License Center at 507-304-4340 for additional information. 

Veteran Services

  • Appointments will be held via phone or email. 
  • Transportation services to Minneapolis VAMC will continue on odd days of the work week as long as drivers are willing to drive.
    • Rides can be scheduled by calling the County office at 507-304-4246.
  • Contact with staff can be made through the following ways: 
  • Veterans Services Office is now located in the Government Center located at 410 S 5th Street in Mankato. 

Safety & Justice 

  • Sheriff’s Office
    • Administrative staff is limiting contact. Forms should be filled out prior to arriving to the office or filled out online if available. Visit the permits web page to see if it can obtained online or visit the documents and forms web page for print options. 
  • Attorney’s Office
    • All services are available online or over the phone. Call 507-304-4600 for more information.

Probation & Corrections

  • Some in-person appointments have been moved to virtual visits.
  • Group programming has been suspended. 
  • Sentence to Serve program has been suspended.
  • Volunteer opportunities have been suspended.

Property, Taxes, Land Records, Elections and Passports

  • The candidate filing process for certain offices for the 2020 election can be completed via mail, drop-box, email, or by appointment. Learn more about filing for public office.
  • Qualifying County property owners who are experiencing a financial hardship due to COVID-19 can complete the Property Tax Relief Waived Late Payment Penalty Form. This approved policy waives late property tax payment penalties from May 15 to July 15, 2020. Learn more about delaying your first half 2020 property taxes.
  • Property tax payments and program applications are accepted via mail, online, and drop box locations (Hy-Vee downtown, Hilltop Cub Foods, front and Door B of the Government Center at 410 South Fifth Street in Mankato). Call 507-304-4251 for more information.
  • Passport applications are being reviewed on a case-by-case basis. Call 507-304-4251 for more information.
  • Documents needing to be recorded are accepted via e-recording, mail, or drop box located at Door B of the Government Center at 410 S Fifth Street in Mankato. Call 507-304-4251 for more information.
  • Blue Earth County Property Records, in conjunction with the Blue Earth County Attorney’s Office, have established an alternative method for filing Tax Court Petitions for taxes payable in 2020 due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Visit our alternative method document for filing instructions

Environmental Health

  • Household Hazardous Waste Facility 
    • Facility will open for drop-off by appointment only. Call 507-304-4251 to request an appointment. 
    • Product Reuse area will be closed until further notice.
  • Ponderosa Landfill
    • Shredding service is suspended until further notice. 
    • Ponderosa Office is locked. Customers should use the on-scale intercom or drive-up window to interact with scale operator. 
  • Recycling Center is open.
  • Waste Management Offices are closed for public access. 
    • Commercial haulers continue to have drop-off access.
    • For questions regarding the facility, call Waste Management at 888-960-0008.
    • For questions regarding recycling or waste services, call Blue Earth County at 507-304-4251.
  • Water sample collection has been suspended. Call 507-304-4251 for more information. 

Parks, Campgrounds and Roads 

  • Campgrounds will remain closed until June 1st. Campgrounds will remain closed until June 1st per State and County directives in observance of Emergency Executive Order 20-56 stating, ’Both private and public developed campgrounds remain closed to recreational camping.’
    • Campgrounds are located at Bray, Daly, and Rapidan Dam parks
    • Please note that cautionary measures will be in place when campgrounds open in accordance with Minnesota Department of Health, MN DNR and CDC guidelines. These include bathhouse restrictions, reduced site availability, continued closure of playgrounds, beaches and pavilions/shelters. 
  • Boat launches/fishing areas and portable restrooms will be open and available beginning May 1 at the following parks:

    • Bray Park
    • Daly Park
    • Duck Lake Park
    • Eagle Lake Landing
    • Rapidan Dam Park
    • Red Jacket Trail & Weagel Park
    • Red Jacket Valley Park
  • The following amenities will be closed or restricted for use until further notice at all parks (including campgrounds):

    • Bathroom facilities
    • Beaches
    • Playground equipment
    • Pavilions/shelters
  • Walking paths throughout parks and campgrounds may be used by community members if practicing social distancing. Large gatherings are not allowed.

  • Trails currently open: Red Jacket, South Route, Minneopa, and Indian Lake.
  • Parks currently open for hiking: Wildwood, Williams, Schimek, and Red Jacket Valley Park.
  • Pesticide applicator testing has been suspended. 
  • Public Open House meetings have been suspended. 
  • Drop-off payments are currently unavailable. 
  • County park buildings are currently closed for the season. Season opening dates are being reviewed. 

Library 

  • Books by Mail program is now available. 
    • Call the Library to arrange delivery at 507-304-4001.
    • Up to three items from the Library’s current catalog. 
    • All users must have a Library card, but those without one may register over the phone. 
    • There is no cost to participate and items can be returned at patrons’ convenience. 
    • There will be no fines for late materials.
  • E-books and audiobooks are available online on the Overdrive and Libby apps.
  • Homework tools and games are available online for kids and teens.
  • All events have been suspended.
  • Book Club discussion will be hosted online. 
  • Online storytime options are being reviewed. Updates will be posted on the Library’s website and Facebook page.
  • Expanding programs such as Rural Library Services and books by mail to home bound residents. More information is available on the Library’s website or by calling 507-304-4001. 
  • Library staff are available by phone at 507-304-4001 for:
    • Answering Library card and services questions
    • Reference calls
    • Set-up for rural and home-bound services 
    • Research and more

U of M Extension 

  • Face-to-face meetings, courses, and events have been suspended until at least May 15.
  • In-person volunteer activities with 4H and Master Gardeners has been suspended until at least May 15.
  • On-site technical service calls for agriculture educators has been suspended until at least May 15, however, assistance is available through email at mnext-blueearth@umn.edu or by leaving a message at 507-304-4325.
  • For private pesticide applicator exams, we recommend either taking the exam online, or emailing ppathelp@umn.edu and requesting a paper one be mailed. Study guides can be obtained online for free.
  • For SNAP-Ed participants, consider contacting United Way’s 211 hotline or visiting Second Harvest Heartland to learn more about available community resources, including food access.

Human Resources 

  • All services are available online or over the phone. Call 507-304-4286 for more information.