Ames City Hall and the Ames Public Library will reopen on Wednesday for the first time since the pandemic began.
City buildings, including the library and city hall, were closed due to COVID-19 in March.
“We regret this temporary disruption, but are confident everyone will understand these actions are geared to helping protect the health and safety of our citizens and continuing to provide essential City services to the public,” said Ames Mayor John Haila in a statement announcing the closures.
As the buildings reopen for the public, visitors are expected to wear masks, limit their time in the building, look for directional signage and maintain six-foot distancing from other people.
“The city of Ames is committed to continuing to provide essential city services (including utilities, public works, public safety) to its residents,” according to the press release. “In order to do so, city staff exposure to the virus in city workplaces is being minimized. Additionally, maintaining a safe environment for citizens remains a priority.”
The public meeting rooms will not be available for reservation. City utility buildings such as the Ames Water Plant remain closed to the public.
Additionally, the Ames Public Library will begin its first phase of reopening.
The lobby of the Ames Public Library will be limitedly open for “grab and go” services for pickup and checkouts. “Grab and go” bags will also be provided by the Ames Public Library, which contains preselected groups of books or movies selected by topics, genres or reading levels.
Tax forms, copying and wireless printing will be available.
This phase will focus on short visits and reduced interaction with staff for the health and safety of visitors and staff. Other areas of the library are not available for browsing or seating.
Staff and visitor interactions are reserved only for specific library account questions, according to the Ames Public Library website, and the staff are not able to retrieve items from the shelves for visitors.
Visitors can request items online and wait until they are available for pickup before coming to the library.
Those visiting the library are expected to wear a mask, according to the Ames Public Library website, and visitors are asked not to come to the library if they are sick or have been exposed to someone with COVID-19 in the last two weeks.
Visitors are also expected to maintain a distance of six feet from staff and other visitors. A limited supply of disposable masks is available for visitors that need one.
On Mondays, Wednesdays, Fridays and Saturdays, the library’s hours will be 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. On Tuesdays and Thursdays, the hours will be 9 a.m. to 9 p.m. and 1 p.m. to 5 p.m. on Sunday.