The Gilbert City Hall office

The Gilbert City Hall office was closed to the public Tuesday due to a positive COVID-19 test.

GILBERT — The Gilbert City Hall has been closed nearly two weeks as an office employee tested positive for COVID-19, and calls placed to the office are answered with a message saying, "Thank you for calling the city of Gilbert," with no mention of the closure due to COVID-19.

Mayor Karl Oberstar Jr. told the Mesabi Tribune, "A person (office employee) tested negative (for COVID-19), then tested positive and hasn't been around for two weeks." Other office staff who work with the person who tested positive "should be OK by next Monday," Oberstar said.

The City Council's regular meeting for April 13 had been cancelled, but the announcement did not include a reason for the cancellation. Oberstar said, "We were all set to have the meeting last Tuesday (April 20), but she (employee) got sick again. We're taking precautions."

Other Range cities were contacted regarding COVID-19. Mountain Iron city offices "have been closed to the public throughout the pandemic," a city office employee said. The city hall staff is at work to do the city's business and to answer phone calls from Mountain Iron residents.

In Virginia the public has access to City Hall. "Yes, we are open," a Virginia city office staff member told the Tribune.

In Eveleth the city offices are staffed but the City Hall has been closed to the public during the pandemic. City Administrator Jackie Monahan Junek said she, the public works director and the police chief (who is also the city's emergency management director) have been working on a reopening plan for the City Hall and the public library.

"We have met people at the City Hall door and helped them with their issues," she said. "We're formulating a plan for the reopening" as the numbers of COVID-19 cases nationwide are "hopefully going down."

In Aurora a City Hall official said, "Offices have been open and will continue to be open."

In Hibbing Tom Dicklich, city administrator, said, "When COVID came around, we did close up city buildings. Our departments ran smoothly... by appointment only. In January we worked with Fairview to give all our employees a chance to get vaccinated (against COVID-19). We are open to the public now."

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