ELK RIVER -- Access to the Sherburne County Government Center will be restricted beginning Wednesday.

In a news release, county officials say government center activities will be limited to gatherings of 10 or fewer individuals in one area, all who are practicing proper social distancing.

This decision will have particular impact on those waiting to access the Driver and Vehicles Services department, which can only process around 10 individuals each hour. Visitors in excess of 10 per hour will be asked to return at another time

"Our intent is to most effectively and proactively practice social distancing in the hopes of slowing the spread of COVID-19," the release states. "DVS is a high-traffic area and has seen lines and people congregating for long periods of time close to one another."

Sherburne County is also preparing to limit access to the Government Center to in-person essential transactions only, which will take effect Monday, March 23. Individuals will have to call the Government Center to schedule an appointment.

The release says county employees will be present at the main entrance to the Government Center and will meter access to the facility so that social distancing standards can be achieved. Some people will be turned away or asked to return at a later date. If people are crowding in groups that don’t comply with social distancing, they may be asked to create space between themselves.

If you are ill or have flu-like symptoms, officials ask you not to visit the Government Center.