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Government agencies adapt to virus

For some county government agencies, including the El Paso County Sheriff’s Office and the El Paso County Planning and Community Development Department, business is anything but ìusual.î The COVID-19 virus has disrupted the norm.ìWe took measures early to be aggressive without sacrificing the safety of the community,î said Jacqueline Kirby, media relations manager for the EPCSO. ìWe are a full-service law enforcement agency so a lot of things are being done differently.îDispatchers are screening calls to see if people requesting service have symptoms of the virus. Deputies are making telephone contact before any face-to-face encounters. Kirby said deputies are keeping social distance as much as possible and are equipped with eye protection, masks and gloves. The jail has reduced the number of inmates without compromising public safety. As of April 15, there had been no positive cases of the COVID 19 virus among jail inmates. All face-to-face public services at the front counter of the planning department have been temporarily suspended. Business is conducted online and by telephone. Development applications can be submitted online, and the progress of those applications can be viewed online. There is also a mechanism for submitting code enforcement complaints online. Each day, there is a planner of the day listed on the department’s website with their telephone number. The planner of the day handles specific zoning, development and planning related questions. The website also provides the names and telephone numbers of personnel who handle engineering, construction inspection and enforcement questions. All of this information is available at

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