Corvallis city offices reopen following COVID-19 shutdowns

The Corvallis City Hall building is located downtown on Madison Avenue. OMN archive taken Feb. 2020. 

Adam Figgins, News Contributor

Since Benton county moved from extreme risk to high risk, the Corvallis city offices are open as of Mar. 29.  However, the Corvallis library will not be opening.

COVID-19 death rates have declined in Oregon and more people become vaccinated, Corvallis starts to move back to normalcy and transitions from virtual city services to in person services.

Not all city facilities will be open, yet the Osborn aquatic center will be open for outdoor swimming and a limited amount of indoor swimming. The Majestic Theatre and Corvallis Community Center will also be open with limitations. Information can be found on their websites.

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In terms of local business, the Darkside Cinema was supposed to open on Apr. 1, but has been pushed back and is now offering online viewings. Viewers can support the cinema by viewing virtual shows that have been curated by owner Paul Turner for $5. 

The Corvallis Library is also yet to reopen, but residents still have access to computer labs and contactless pickup. 

Patrick Rollens is the public information officer for the City of Corvallis and said people may notice some new equipment in city buildings to help maintain physical distancing such as signs, markings on the floor and physical barriers.

“In general, we have been reminding people that patronizing city offices, facilities and programs will look a little different,” Rollens said “The best option, if possible, is to access City services remotely via the telephone or the web. Masks are required in public. This applies to customers, visitors, employees, and contractors doing business at all City sites, offices, and facilities.”

Rollens is excited to get back into the office too, as he misses in person work.

“Remote work has been a slog, mainly because my oldest son was doing remote kindergarten in the next room and my 3-year-old was pestering me for snacks all day long. I’m definitely ready to get back to the office full-time,” Rollens said. “The work we do at the city is generally focused on providing services to people, and we are eager to get back to normal as much as possible.”

Abbie Alexander is the central administrative services manager and is also looking forward to getting back into the office. Like Rollens, Alexander misses what in person work has to offer.

I look forward to seeing colleagues back in the office and those little informal connections we have throughout the day where you’re learning a bit about what they’re working on and thinking about that week as you cross in the hallway or heat up lunch in the breakroom,” Alexander said. “Those little connections foster and create fresh perspective and enthusiasm for the work.” 

Abby Key is a second year OSU student studying Human Development & Family Sciences, she is excited about Corvallis moving back to normalcy, even if it’s a slow and steady process.

Opening these city offices will hopefully also help get some residents back to work, and reduce the anxieties that accompany being out of work or unemployed, or even just not being able to do your job in person,” Key said.