County buildings to fully reopen Monday after 3-month closure

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RIVERSIDE (CNS) – After nearly three months, several Riverside County facilities that were closed or placed under limited schedules amid the coronavirus emergency will reopen for regular business on Monday.

County CEO George Johnson directed the reopenings, with public health protocols in place.

“While the journey ahead will be challenging and full of uncertainty, I am confident that our county team will continue to meet the needs of our residents,” Johnson said.

The County Administrative Center on Lemon Street, which has been under limited operation and curtailed public access since March 18, will be completely accessible again.

The multi-story complex contains a bevy of offices, including the Clerk of the Board, the Treasurer-Tax Collector and all the Executive Office functions.

The Department of Public Social Services, Economic Development Agency and Department of Information Technology will also be among the fully reopened facilities.

Some agencies remained open, at least for limited public visits, after the March 18 closure order, including the District Attorney’s Office, Department of Probation, Sheriff’s Department and Transportation & Land Management Agency.

The board chamber in the County Administrative Center also stayed open.

According to county officials, all those entering county facilities will be asked whether they are experiencing COVID-19 symptoms and may be asked to leave if they are.

Visitors will also be encouraged to wear face coverings, though they will not be denied access if they choose otherwise.

The county is gearing up for a round of hearings on the 2020-21 fiscal year budget Monday and Tuesday, with additional hearings possible toward the end of the month.

The coronavirus-related regulatory lockdowns impacting the regional, state and national economies have left the county with major revenue shortfalls. Up to $100 million in spending cuts are likely in the coming fiscal year, Johnson said.

“Difficult budget decisions will be necessary to balance county services against the drastic change in our fiscal reality,” Johnson said.