In a March 17 media release, Wadena County Sheriff Michael D. Carr said, "With the changing dynamics on the state and nationwide response to the COVID-19 pandemic, the Wadena County Sheriff’s Office is taking proactive steps to prevent the further spread of the COVID-19 virus."

Effective immediately, the list below will be implemented to mitigate as many risks as possible:

  • The jail and public lobby are closed to visitors, including professional and private visits. Steps are being taken to enable off-site video visitation for inmates and their friends or family. Jail programming is also suspended during this time.

  • All release from the jail is suspended. This applies to Sentencing to Service and Work Release inmates.

  • Public fingerprinting is suspended.

  • Permits to acquire and carry handguns will still be accepted via U.S. Mail and processed accordingly. For questions on what documentation and/or fees need to be sent, call 632-6059 or 632-6063.

  • Civil process will be accepted through the U.S. Mail. For questions on fees, call the phone numbers above.

Carr noted the list is subject to change as they receive recommendations and guidelines from our state and federal partners.

"We hope these are only temporary measures, but that is one of the many unknowns at this time," he said. "For now, these measures will remain in place through Monday, April 6, at minimum. Non-essential visits to all county buildings are discouraged. Wadena County remains open to serving the public and will now do so through telephone, e-mail, US mail, and on-line services available through our website at

"As your sheriff, I want you to know that we are still here for you 24 hours a day. Our response may change on certain calls, as well as jail operations, but I want you to know you can still call us in your time of need. This is an unprecedented situation that we are all working through, but the thing to remember is that we WILL get through this and it too shall pass.

Cass County

Cass County Sheriff Tom Burch said in a release, "Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, we have adjusted our operational procedures and are ready to respond to public safety needs.

"One procedure change you may notice is when calling 911 for assistance. In the event of a medical emergency, you will be asked some screening questions pertaining to symptoms, as well as recent travel, during a set of pre-arrival instructions. These questions are important to help first responders determine the needs of the medical situation."

To contact the Cass County Sheriff’s Office, residents should dial 911 for emergencies. For non-emergencies, call 547-1424 or email Additional contact information is available on their website at

"Extensive cleaning and sanitizing of our facilities and vehicles is ongoing," Burch added. "Our 24/7 operations will continue. Our detention center will be limited to off-site video visitation."

Hubbard County

When asked by the Enterprise, Hubbard County Sheriff Cory Aukes said, "We have suspended jail visitation and providing fingerprinting service to the public, so far."

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