County buildings go to appointment-only in response to COVID-19 rise
In response to a rapid increase in COVID-19 cases, the Taylor County Courthouse has limited public access.
Taylor County has reached a critical high level for the COVID-19 disease. Due to the high level of communitywide spread of COVID-19 and the need to ensure appropriate staffing levels, as well as the health and safety of employees and the public, Taylor County buildings closed to foot traffic beginning Monday, November 23 until further notice. At this time, entry to these facilities will be by appointment only.
As of Tuesday, the number of positive cases in the county was at 1,196 up more than 160 cases from the prior week. There were 42 new cases reported on Tuesday. There are currently 645 residents in quarantine and 11 area residents are hospitalized due to COVID-19. The county medical examiner has reported a total death toll in the county of 17 COVID-19 related deaths.
While courthouse access remains limited, all government offices are operating as normal with public access to the courts, departments and government meetings through streaming services and other online resources.
The Sheriff’s Office remains open to the public for their law enforcement needs. Sheriff Larry Woebbeking asks residents to enter through the jail/ dispatch entrance and report to the dispatch window for assistance.
“I am always hesitant to limit people’s access to law enforcement,” Woebbeking said.
The Medford police department, which is housed in the courthouse, is limiting in-person access to appointment only and encouraging people to use online resources or to call.
Those in need of Medford police department assistance with vehicle registrations (title transfers, issuance of license plates, or plate renewals), First Offender enrollment forms, or public record requests should call 715-748-1447 and they will assist you and set up appointments as needed. They encourage people to visit https://wisconsindot.gov/ and click on “online services” to perform motor vehicle transactions. All salvage motor vehicle inspections have been suspended until further notice.
Access to the court will continue to be by alternate means, including Zoom hearings, telephone and other remote means, including mail, email , fax or drop box. In a statement from Circuit Court Judge Ann Knox-Bauer, she stated, “Any entry into the courthouse will be by appointment only, and if for the court system, require approval of the court.”
Public court hearings will continue to be live-streamed on the Taylor County YouTube channels.