MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) — Minnesota will turn the dial a little more this week.
Starting Monday, several Hennepin County libraries will begin offering “grab and go” services in-person. Day programs will also resume for adults with disabilities, and long-term care facilities will be allowed to have some visitors again.
Josh Yetman, Hennepin County Library communications manager, says Augsburg Park, Champlin, Nokomis and Northeast Hennepin library locations are among the sites set to reopen after months. Minneapolis Central, St. Anthony, Walker, Wayzata, and Westonka library locations will also open on July 20. Maple Plain, Oxboro, Southdale Hennepin County libraries will reopen the week of July 27.
“We’ve been closed since the third week in March,” Yetman said.
The county plans to reopen most of its libraries in waves over the next three weeks.
Select locations will continue to do curbside pickup as an option until they transition to grab-and-go only. Yetman said that is due to staffing.
Ten Hennepin County Library locations will not be reopening in 2020: East Lake, Golden Valley, Linden Hills, Long Lake, Minnetonka, Osseo, Pierre Bottineau, Roosevelt and St. Bonifacius.
“We’re going to cap at 50% for the time being to kind of take a look and see how things are going,” Yetman said. “We want to make sure they’re comfortable when they come to visit.”
Visitors will be required to wear a mask, and schedule an appointment to use a computer. Also, late fees are on hold.
“Even though some of our libraries are opening up to in person services … books are still not due. There’s no rush for anyone to return their books,” he said.
For the first time in four months, outside visitors deemed “essential caregivers” by state health officials will be able to visit residents in nursing homes and assisted care facilities.
Day services are also reopening Monday for adults in group settings with disabilities, giving them access to day centers that offer mental and emotional support, among other services. WCCO spoke with Minnesota Department of Human Services Commissioner Jodi Harpstead about the changes.
“Many of them provide employment supports, job training and support while people start jobs out in the community,” Harpstead said.
Harpstead says long-term care facility residents can have more than one essential caregiver. They will be screened for COVID-19 symptom, and would be required to wear a mask when visiting their loved one.