(Editor's note: The following letter comes from Kelli Wollmann, Lake County Commission chair; and Aaron Johnson, commissioner.)

"As the COVID-19 public health emergency continues to evolve, we must also continue to adapt our operations to meet these challenging circumstances.

``Effective Wednesday, March 25, 2020, Lake County offices will be open and available to provide in-person essential services to the public by appointment only. The Courthouse doors will be open, but the individual office doors will be locked to reduce unexpected in-person contacts with our employees.

``If you have essential business that may only be done in person, please contact the office using the phone numbers or e-mail addresses listed below to make an appointment. Many services may be completed online, by e-mail, or over the phone, and we would continue to encourage the public to utilize those options.

``Pursuant to Governor Noem's Executive Order 2020-08, Lake County will be following the Governor's recommendation to restrict public gatherings of ten people or more, unless it is necessary, at county-owned facilities until further notice.

``County offices are implementing the recommended CDC hygiene practices and have been given discretion to utilize public employee arrangements that are designed to reduce the likelihood of spreading the COVID-19 disease. Additional schedule changes include:

``-- The Spring Electronic Drop-Off Event hosted jointly by the Lake County Natural Resource Office and the City of Madison has been canceled. We will make every attempt for a fall of 2020 event, if possible. Lake County residents are reminded they can dispose of electronic devices at the Household Hazardous Waste Facility in Sioux Falls, free of charge.

``-- The Planning Commission scheduled for April 8, 2020, has been canceled. Again, as this situation continues to evolve, additional changes to our operations may need to be made. Those operational changes will be posted to our county website (www.lake.sd.gov) and county Facebook page (Lake County, South Dakota)."

Department contact information is listed below:

Auditor: 256-7600 / lakeauditor@lake.sd.gov

Treasurer: 256-7618 / Debra.Walburg@state.sd.us

Register of Deeds: 256-7614 / lakerod@lake.sd.gov

Equalization: 256-7605 / lakedoe@lake.sd.gov

Zoning / Welfare: 605-256-7610 / lakezoning@lake.sd.gov\

Community Health Nurse: 256-5309 / DOHMadisonClinic@@state.sd.us

Veteran Services: 256-7612 / lakevso@lake.sd.gov

Emergency Management Office: 256-7611 / lakeema@lake.sd.gov

Highway Department: 256-7606 / lakehwy@lake.sd.gov

Building Maintenance: 256-7623 / lakebldg@lake.sd.gov

Extension: 256-7603 / Lake.County@sdstate.edu

911 Communications: 256-7620 / lake911@lake.sd.gov

Sheriff's Office / Jail: 256-7615 / tim.walburg@lake.sd.gov

State's Attorney: 256-7630 / wendy.kloeppner@lake.sd.gov

Commission: 256-7630 / shelligust@lake.sd.gov