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Early county office closures not convenient

The Trumbull County Auditor’s and Treasurer’s offices have been operating at reduced hours in an attempt to reduce the chance of spreading COVID-19.

Officials say they are limiting hours to the public and staggering employee shifts.

The Trumbull Auditor’s Office has been closing 2 p.m. daily, and the county Treasurer’s Office has been closing 12:30 p.m. each day.

Auditor Adrian Biviano told our reporter recently although the doors to his office are closed, people still are able to drop off documents they need processed and employees continue to do that work for the public, checking the drop-off box regularly.

But business people and others need access to files and property records in order to do transactions and work like property transfer research, and the limited hours are causing inconvenience and unnecessarily clogging up the office when it’s open to the public.

We understand the growing number of COVID-19 cases is concerning, but business needs to be conducted — especially government business being funded by the taxpayers.

Rather than shutting down their offices early, we urge elected officials to find other ways to create safety precautions without banning entrance or slowing the process of conducting business.

Of course, masks, social distancing, frequent cleaning and providing hand-sanitizing stations are good places to start. Other efforts could be made to stop visitors at the doors to ensure they have a legitimate reason for wanting to enter, or to see if their business can be conducted swiftly at the counter or — better yet — online.

At a time when our economy already is suffering, real estate sales have been among the few businesses still booming amid the COVID-19 pandemic. We must find a way to ensure this continues safely but without insurmountable obstacles.

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