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Service and Programs Affected by Malware Attack and COVID-19

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ATTENTION! Durham County Government (DCo) closed most offices to the public effective Monday, March 23, 2020. To read the detailed release about the closing, visit our news section at dconc.gov or click here

This page has been created to inform Durham County residents with updates regarding how programs and services are being affected by the cyber malware attack and COVID-19 (Coronavirus). This page will be updated frequently again once our buildings open again and services come back on line in the future. 

Board of County Commissioners

The BOCC has cancelled its Regular Session meeting scheduled for Monday, March 23, 2020 at 7 p.m. and its Work Session scheduled for Monday, April 6, 2020 at 9 a.m.

Currently, the Board's next scheduled meeting will be a Regular Session on Monday, April 13, 2020 at 5 p.m. Meetings take place inside the Commissioners Chambers, located on the 2nd floor of the Administration Building I, 200 E. Main St.

View the updated BOCC scheduling here.

Find cancelled or virtual meetings on the Boards and Commissioners calendar on the Durham County Meeting and Events webpage by clicking here.

On April 3, the City of Durham and County of Durham issued a single Order to reduce confusion between the Orders and offer clearer guidance to businesses and residents. The specific provisions of the combined and amended Order are detailed here. The Order will remain in effect until April 30, 2020. This order is an update to the Durham County Stay-At-Home Order issued by Chair Wendy Jacobs on March 28. 

Board of Elections

The Board of Elections Office is currently operating under regular business hours, from 8:30 a.m. - 5 p.m., however offices are closed to the public. Staff numbers have been reduced. The temporary department email and phone number is dbowensdcoboe@gmail.com and 919-560-0726.

Citizens may use the drop-off box outside of the main Board of Elections Office at 201 N. Roxboro St., to drop off materials.

Boards and Commissions

To protect the safety of our citizens, many Boards, Commissions and Advisory meetings have been cancelled. We encourage you to visit our Durham County Meeting and Events webpage for the most up to date information on cancellations. Cancelled and/or virtual meetings can be found on the Durham County Meeting and Events webpage. Should you have additional questions, please contact the Clerk’s Office at 919-560-0025.

Budget & Management Services

Durham County Budget & Management Office is closed.

Courts

The 919-808-3000 telephone number to access Durham County Courts is not working. To reach the Criminal District Division, call 919-808-3002. To reach the Criminal Superior Court Division, call 919-808-3007.

City-County Planning

Stay at Home Order in Effect - Development Services Continue Most Operations Online

On Wednesday, March 25, City of Durham Mayor Steve Schewel issued a stay-at-home order for the City of Durham. The order is effective March 26 - April 30, 2020. All City facilities remain closed to the public until further notice. As noted on the City’s COVID-19 web page, Residents can be assured that essential City services will not be interrupted, including access to clean drinking water; trash collection; and emergency services from police, fire, and 911.

Building and Construction Trades are deemed an essential service and are exempt from the order. Our construction industry partners are strongly encouraged to practice social distancing at all times at job sites.

In terms of the DSC operation, the stay-at-home order does not significantly change the current course of the DSC operation as described previously on this page, with one significant exception: deferral of some development application review fees.

For more updates for the DSC, visit here.

City-County Inspections

Due to the COVID-19, starting Monday, March 23rd., City Hall will be closed to public access.  The Inspections Department staff can be reached by phone or email.

  • Applying for trade permits will continue by accessing our Land Development Office (LDO) website.
  • Building permit applications can be applied for by using the Dplans website.
  • Requesting inspections can be scheduled through the LDO website.
  • Field inspections will continue, but will be limited.  Inspections in occupied buildings and HVAC replacements in occupied homes will not be conducted at this time due to concerns for the health of the occupants and our field personnel.  Please contact the Chief of your trade to discuss any concern with your inspection.
  • Third party inspections and live remote video inspections will be considered with prior approval.  Please contact the Chief of your trade to discuss further.
  • Plan reviews will continue, but only through digital communication.
  • All fees pertaining to the Inspections Department will be paid online through the LDO portal.  We will not be accepting currency or checks by mail and we do not have the ability to take credit cards over the phone.
More information can be found here

Cooperative Extension/Agriculture Building

The Durham County Cooperative Extension Office is closed to the public, except for having Diaper Pick-Up on Friday (see details below). Please see the website at https://durham.ces.ncsu.edu/  and call our main number at 919-560-0525 for more information. 

Programming Updates:

 

Our building is closed to the public as of March 23 and staff is working remotely and will respond by phone and email. All events, training series, and workshops have been canceled or postponed. Some alternate remote learning methods will be used for some activities. Read on for available services below.

 

Services for Young Children
  • Our Welcome Baby program will provide Drive-Up Diaper pick-up for Durham County Welcome Baby clients in need with children ages 0-5. Families should drive to the back of the building at 721 Foster Street and should stay in their cars. Staff will provide the appropriately sized diapers. Some Giving Closet requirements will be waived. Pick up will take place on Fridays starting March 20, 2020, from 9–11:30 a.m. and 1:30–3:30 p.m. ONLY. Families should not arrive early. People who are sick should not attend. Staff will wear gloves and maintain appropriate social distance.
  • Car seat and crib distribution and training is available on an emergency basis for immediate needs only. Families or service providers must call 919-560-7150 to schedule an appointment. Appointments are only available on Fridays.
  • To make the time at home with kids more fun and productive, this week we will begin distributing a weekly email with activities for home learning. If you would like to subscribe to this email, please contact: durhamparentadvocacy@gmail.com
Gardening and Farming Services 
  • Gardening questions? You can still receive high-quality gardening advice through our Master Gardener℠ hotline at (919) 560-0528.
  • Farmers can call our Agriculture Agent, Ashley Troth, directly at 919-698-4138 for farm-related questions and consultation.
  • Our Briggs Avenue Community Garden is open on Friday and Saturday mornings for plot owners to access their food plots. Social distancing is operational and a handwashing station is available.
  • Durham Cooperative Extension is not currently accepting soil samples or distributing soil boxes at 721 Foster Street. If you need soil testing, Soil samples can be dropped off at the  NCDA lab in at the Agronomic Services Division’s Eaddy Building (soil testing lab) at 4300 Reedy Creek Road, Raleigh. Clients can pick up supplies and drop off samples from the loading dock. The front door is closed to all visitors. If necessary, NCDA&CS will invoice clients for sample fees. Questions can be directed to employees via an intercom. For more information on soil testing lab availability and updates, please visit the NCDA website for Covid-19 updates, or contact the Master Gardener hotline or Ashley Troth.
  • Even without soil testing, your garden will always appreciate a healthy dose of organic matter. Untreated lawn clippings, shredded leaves and compost all make great additions to garden soil, and can be mixed in to a depth of 4 inches. Apply unaged products sparingly and only to the top of the soil. To learn more about soil health in the Piedmont and composting, check out the Extension Gardener Handbook, available for free online. 


Extension Cancellations

  • Small Farms Week Events, March 22-28
  • Mindful Meals Mindful Moms series starting March 26
  • All March Parent Advocacy Classes (PFAST and LPFAST) are postponed
  • Briggs Avenue Garden Spring Cookout, April 5

Criminal Justice Resource Center

CJRC will be open from 8:30 a.m. until 5 p.m. starting March 25, 2020. Groups and classes offered by the CJRC have been suspended. Staff will remain on site to assist clients in need.

Economic Development

The Office of Economic Development is open virtually for normal hours and can be reached at econdev.dco@gmail.com. As a result of the economic hardships that have been and will continue to be caused by COVID-19, we are working closely with local partners to locate and relay resource opportunities to support local businesses during this time. This information will be posted and updated through the Durham County Government Facebook page.

 

Emergency Services

The Office of Emergency Services, located on Broad St is closed due to staff relocation to the County's Emergency Operations Center. The EOC is closed to the public.

Engineering and Environmental Services

Utilities is operating as normally scheduled. Utilities is closed to the public. 

General Services

DCo General Services is operating with a reduced staff. At this time, Solid Waste operations are functioning at regular business hours.

County Convenience Sites are open Monday - Friday, from 7 a.m.- 6 p.m.; Saturday 7 a.m. - noon.

Durham County Stadium is not accepting bookings at this time. To contact the department, call 919-560-0430.

Finance

Durham County Finance is closed to the public. The department is operating with limited staffing, however, all operations are functioning (e.g., accounts payable, payroll, procurement, contracts, cash receipts, journal entries, etc.).

Human Resources

Human Resources is closed to the public. DCo Human Resources has reduced staff operations by 50%. The temporary email address for the department is DCoHumanResources@gmail.com.  Currently, HR does not have access to any online job applications. Any jobs posted prior to March 6, 2020, will be reviewed upon the restoration of online services. 

 

Durham County employees seeking policy updates related to COVID-19 should visit the County's Response to Coronavirus webpage or click here.

Information Services & Technology

Work continues to restablize operational system for Durham County Government. 

Legal

Durham County Legal is closed to the public and operating with limited staffing. 

Library

In light of Governor Roy Cooper’s Executive Order and the North Carolina State of Emergency, as of March 15, 2020, all Durham County Library locations are closed to the public until further notice.

For more information, including how to access online resources, visit here.

Public Health

The DCo Department of Public Health Dental Clinic remains closed. The DCoDPH's Lab, Pharmacy, STI, Women's Health divisions are operating with limited staffing.

All other divisions and respective services are open to the public. Services may be slow do to technology challenges.

All available services are operating under modified hours of 8:30 a.m.-3:30 p.m.

Register of Deeds

The Register of Deeds is currently closed to the public.

Beginning March 23, the Register of Deeds will be working with a reduction of staff.

In an attempt to inform the public and aide their ability to make decisions regarding the recording of documents and permit, as much as possible, commerce to continue, the attached documents have been prepared. The documents include an Acknowledgement and Release concerning the limitations of the Register of Deeds due to the recent malware attack and a Notice Regarding Malware to accompany it which is intended to provide further information about those limitations, and the acknowledgement itself, to include how to locate it.

Notice Regarding Malware (Revised 3/17)

Acknowledgement and Release (Revised 3/17)

For questions about the filing of Real Estate documents, call (919) 560-0481.

Citizens who want to complete other business with the Register of Deeds Office can come to their office at 201 E. Main Street and do the following:

  • cashier transactions and notary oaths, certified copies of vital records
  • issue birth, marriage and death certificates
  • Obtain copies of older documents from 1881 to 2012.

At this time, the office cannot issue marriage licenses. Individuals can go to surrounding counties for this service. The department also cannot pull out county birth records. The office also cannot accept new passport applications at this time..

The office is currently using a backup system that allows them to keep record of what they process during this time. Once the full system is back up, all files will be uploaded.

Be advised, there will be extended time needed to complete any process.

Additional update:

1.      The Register of Deeds highly recommends that attorneys who tried to e-file, and are now in backlog, to remove all e-files from the e-file vendor, and only resubmit when the system for submitting documents is back up.

This is especially relevant if an attorney first tried e-filing, but then used in-person recording to get closed. Any e-files with the e-file vendor not pulled back by an attorney, will be recorded by the Register of Deeds in the chronological order they were attempted to be submitted by the e-file vendor, but only after the system comes up. This will lead to double entries and non-refundable costs.

2.      Because indexes after 1999 are down, with no way of knowing how much of the index can be recovered. The office is working to understand the current completeness and accessibility of the full index.

Sheriff's Office

As of Monday, April 6, the Durham County Office of the Sheriff changed it's hours for the records department and updated the procedure for entering the Durham County Judicial Building.

The new hours are 11 a.m. - 4 p.m. Monday through Friday.

Mandatory temperature screenings are now required for all staff and visitors entering into the Durham County Judicial Building. 

Social Services

Due to COVID-19, Durham County Department of Social Services encourages you to apply online for Food and Nutrition Benefits or Medicaid at https://ePass.nc.gov or download an application and mail it to: Durham County Department of Social Services, PO Box 810, Durham, NC 27702. 

If you need to visit DSS' offices, note that hours have been modified to 9 a.m. until 1 p.m., Monday-Friday. 

Direct questions to 919-560-8000. 

More info here.

Soil and Water Conservation District

The Soil and Water Department is making site visits, phone calls and administering District programs as requested. There is office coverage periodically during the day with most staff telecommuting. For assistance request please call 919-560-0558 or 984-260-5969.

Tax Administration

The Tax Administration Office is closed to the public. Taxpayers are encouraged to utilize online services. Payments can be made online or mailed into the office. Tax payer accounts will be updated once all systems come back online. Because of the recent cyber attack, the main number is not functional. Work is being done to restore the number 

  • Tax payments can be made online through the Durham County website or via mail.
  • Listing forms can be returned via mail.
  • Appeal forms can be filed online or returned via mail.
  • Play reviews have been limited to ONLY Monday, Wednesday and Friday.
  • Only two designated phone lines should be used until further notice (main tax office number is not operational) at 919-560-7308 and 919-560-0354. Please note that voicemails cannot be left, so we ask for patience when attempting to call.

Veteran Services

Veteran Services' physical office is closed to the public. Staff can be reached remotely from, 8:30 a.m. until 5 p.m., by calling 919-560-8387. The department will provide claim specific details and other information requests via telephone. The drop box for applications, documents, and complete applications is no longer available.