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Mecklenburg County officials reduce in-person services

The changes impact parks & rec facilities, libraries and other county services until at least Feb. 2.

CHARLOTTE, N.C. — Mecklenburg County is reducing in-person services effective Jan. 15 because of a continuing risk of coronavirus exposure.

The service changes come the same week after Mecklenburg County Public Health Director Gibbie Harris announced a three week COVID-19 Directive imploring people to stay home.

“We are basically going back to where [Mecklenburg] County services were during the Stay-at-Home Order last spring,” Mecklenburg County Manager Dena Diorio said in a released statement. “Our COVID numbers are going up, not down, so for the next three weeks, only essential and mandated services that cannot be performed virtually will be provided in-person.”

Mecklenburg County services have been operating at a limited capacity since March 18, 2020 due to COVID-19. The new Directive expires on Feb. 2, 2021.

The additional reductions include, among others:

· Public Health – Various programs and clinics may be rescheduled or delayed. Call the Public Health Hotline at 980-314-9400 for COVID-19 information and visit MeckNC.gov for updates on affected services
· Park and Recreation 
· Parks – closing at dusk
· Athletic Fields – Reservations are not being accepted at this time
· Outdoor shelters are open on a first-come, first-served basis. Reservations are not being accepted and group members who do not share a household may not gather.
· Amenities closed to the public:
· All Recreation, Senior and Nature Centers
· Mecklenburg County Aquatic Center
· Indoor Shelters
· Camping at McDowell Nature Preserve
· The Skatepark at Naomi Drenan Recreation Center
· Charlotte Mecklenburg Library – Beginning Friday, Jan. 15, 2021 the Library will roll back services to a modified Phase 1, effective through Tuesday, Feb. 2, 2021. Customers will be able to pick up holds, mobile prints and quick pick-ups outside locations without entering Library buildings. Check the website for the status of specific library programs.
· Office of the Tax Collector - In-person payments at the Valerie C. Woodard Center will be temporarily suspended
· Board of County Commissioners - Meetings will be entirely virtual, including the Board’s Budget Retreat January 27-29.

A complete list of the changes and how to access all County services is available at MeckNC.gov.

RELATED: Here's what the COVID-19 directive means for you in Mecklenburg County

During Wednesday's press conference, Harris said she is hoping this directive will give our county time to deal with the rising COVID-19 deaths. She stressed that she doesn't want Mecklenburg County to have the same situation LA is in right now. 

"We believe that a three-week calming in our community can help us get these numbers back under control so that it can be reasonable," Harris said.

RELATED: Several big organizations working together to hit target goal of 1 million vaccinations by July 4 in North Carolina