St. Louis County declares local state of emergency, announces two-day closure of county buildings

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 Administration • 100 North Fifth Avenue West, Room 202 • Duluth, MN 55802

Phone: (218) 726-2450 •

Kevin Z. Gray
County Administrator



March 18, 2020

MEDIA CONTACT: Dana Kazel, Communications Manager

218-725-5049 (office) • 218-591-2219 (cell)


St. Louis County declares state of local emergency, announces two-day closure of buildings

The St. Louis County Board has approved a resolution declaring a local state of emergency due to the COVID-19 (coronavirus) pandemic. The County has already been operating under an emergency conditions declaration, but this new resolution will provide County leaders maximum flexibility to act and react quickly as conditions change due to the COVID-19 (coronavirus) pandemic.


Additionally, St. Louis County has announced it is closing public access to all county buildings effective Thursday through Sunday, March 19-22. This includes the Auditor's Service Center at the Mall. Exceptions to this include the St. Louis County Courthouses in Duluth, Virginia and Hibbing, which will remain open to the public for court operations. Additionally, the county landfill and solid waste drop off sites will remain open.


The closure will allow time for planning for potential longer term changes in public access to buildings and methods for delivery of essential services. Employees will still report to work but will be providing services by phone, email and online. Beginning Monday, March 23, some county buildings will re-open but with limited hours and public access points. Those details will be release as they are confirmed. 


Ongoing staffing arrangements are still being finalized, with decisions being guided by the need to find balance between ensuring continuity of services and supporting community needs, while protecting the health and safety of staff and the public. The goal is to provide flexibility to departments to find what works best for them with options including broad access for employees to use paid leave, working remotely, and flexible scheduling to minimize the number of employees concentrated in a particular area.


Commissioners also voted to move their March 24 Board Meeting, previously scheduled for the Morse Township Town Hall, to the St. Louis County Government Services Center in Virginia. This provides increased space for social distancing, and greater access to technology to broadcast the meeting.


To learn more about the county's response and preparations for the COVID-19 pandemic, visit