News Flash


Posted on: March 17, 2020

Changes in county services under COVID-19

Washington County will suspend all public-facing services at its libraries, service centers, and license centers through April 7. License centers and service desks will be closed until April 13.

Some remote services will be available.

WIC Clinics: Washington County WIC clinics are closed to in-person visits. WIC services are still available over the telephone. If you have an upcoming appointment, staff will call you at your scheduled appointment time. If you have questions or need to schedule an appointment, please call 651-430-6658.

See the COVID-19 website for more resources on food programs and assistance.

Library: The Washington County Library’s website shows its modified services. There are resources for home activities 

Parks: Parks will be available, and entrance fee will be waived through April 7.

Environmental Center: Effective Saturday, March 28, the Washington County Environmental Center is closed to comply with the Governor’s Executive Order. Hazardous waste and recycling services are suspended until further notice. Residents are encouraged to safely store their household hazardous waste until service resumes. See website for instructions.

Medication Drop-off: With Washington County buildings closed during the COVID-19 pandemic, the drug drop boxes are not accessible to our residents. Options for disposal during this time are listed on the Minnesota Pollution Control Agency website, which is searchable by location, and lists all drug drops that are public and private in the state.

Some privately run drug stores and other sites also are available for drug drop.

Shredding Event: The April 15 shredding event at the Environmental Center has been cancelled. See the website for additional shredding event scheduled in 2020.

Food Scraps (Organics) Drop-off: Food scraps drop-off service is temporarily suspended at the Washington County Environmental Center and Northern Yard Waste site until further notice. See the website for details. 

Hazardous Waste One-Day Collection Events: The spring Hugo, Mahtomedi, Cottage Grove, and Stillwater one-day collection events have been cancelled. See the website for updated information. 

Northern Yard Waste Site: The Northern Yard Waste Site will continue to be open to public, during normal operating hours for yard waste only. Please stay at least 6 feet away from attendants and other customers while visiting the county yard waste site. There is no organics (food scraps) drop-off until further notice.

Government Center: Services at the county’s service centers, such as property record services, property taxes, and vital records are available.

Transportation: Metro Mobility and Transit Link continue to operate in the county. Check for information on schedules and delivery services.

Washington County Crisis Response Unit for mobile crisis mental health services for adults and children is available at 651-275-7400.

License and Service centers: All services are unavailable until April 13. Staff will not be able to process any transactions, including mail-in or drop-off transactions, during this time. For information from the State of Minnesota, see the Department of Public Safety information page.

Community Corrections: 

  • Adult and Juvenile probation clients will continue to be monitored and supervised by probation officers through in-person, telephone, or video communications.
  • Afterschool programming for juvenile clients is suspended indefinitely and will be rescheduled.
  • Work crews are suspended indefinitely. Orientation dates for April are cancelled and will be rescheduled.
  • In-person cog groups including Thinking for a Change, Moving On, Cognitive-Behavioral Interventions for Substance Abuse (CBI-SA) and Decision Points are suspended indefinitely and will be rescheduled.

The action is taken to protect county residents and employees during the COVID-19 pandemic, and is similar to action taken by most metropolitan counties. The Washington County Board of Commissioners declared a local emergency March 17, and directed staff to suspend the county’s public-facing services.

The suspension includes the county’s eight library branches, the Government Center, the county’s license centers in Forest Lake and Stillwater, and the service centers in Cottage Grove, Forest Lake, and Woodbury, including the CareerForce centers, and the service counter at the North Shop. County parks will be available for use of their trails and other open spaces, but county parks buildings will be closed. There will be no charge to enter county parks through April 7.

County government services will continue to function, while adapting to working within the parameters set by the COVID-19 pandemic. Public safety agencies will continue to provide service to the community, as will the county’s Department of Public Health & Environment, which is continuing to monitor the novel coronavirus outbreak, and provide services to the community.

Courthouse: The Minnesota Judicial Council has recommended further restrictions for in-person courthouse access, and Chief Justice Lorie S. Gildea has issued a statewide order Continuing Operations of the Courts of the State of Minnesota Under a Statewide Peacetime Declaration of Emergency. The order restricts in-person access to courthouses, including the Washington County Courthouse, beginning March 23, and is in effect for the next 30 days. Information about the different hearings and court processes are on the Minnesota Judicial Branch website.

For information about other Washington County services and programs, use these telephone numbers:

Washington County Contact Information

  • Questions about county services: 651-430-6000; 651-430-6246 (TTY)
  • COVID-19 health concerns and questions: 651-430-6655
  • Financial help (including food support, cash assistance, and emergency assistance): 651-430-6455
  • Housing/homelessness, transportation, social services, and more (including child protection and adult protection): 651-430-6455
  • Emergency social services and after hours child protection (after 4:30 p.m. and on weekends): 651-275-7400
  • Property Records and Taxpayer Services (including license centers, recorder and registrar of titles, and vital records): 651-430-6175
  • Washington County Crisis Response Unit , 651-275-7400
  • In an emergency, dial 911

See Washington County’s information on the COVID-19 response.

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