GARDINER — City municipal buildings will be closing until at least Jan. 18, 2021, due to concerns that an anticipated increase in COVID-19 cases will come after holiday travel.

That decision was announced in a news release Monday afternoon, effective at 1 p.m.

Please be “aware that the decision to close City Hall and the Library was not made lightly, but was made with the health and wellbeing of our staff and the general-public as a top priority,” the release reads. “The City of Gardiner appreciates the public’s patience during this pandemic.”

City Manager Christine Landes said that all City Hall staff will continue to report for work, but will distance from each other during the work day. She said there will be plenty of staff to maintain   daily workload, and online services are available for residents.

According to the release, staff will be available for phone, email, fax and drop-box requests, but no public access to the buildings is being allowed.

The Gardiner Public Library will continue to offer “take-out” service through the window.

The release directs people to use the websites for the city, gardinermaine.com, and state, maine.gov/informe, for some services.

Landes said it may be possible to handle immediate tasks through the window of City Hall, such as excise tax payments on a new vehicle. She said staff will adjust to best suit the needs of customers if there is something that “absolutely needs” to get done.

The release said that municipal buildings plan to reopen Jan. 19, but the closure may be modified Jan. 18.

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