Wetteraukreis The corridors of the district administration in Friedberg are currently much emptier than in normal times. Offices that are shared by two or three employees are often staffed individually. “We try to keep the risk of infection as low as possible,” District Administrator Jan Weckler reports in a press release.
Nevertheless, several colleagues have now contracted COVID-19. Weckler: “The same rules apply here as at any other place of work. The health department clarifies the contact persons. Affected employees are informed by the health office and have to go into the home for two weeks.” Relevant contact persons are all those who have had close contact with the sick person. “The guidelines of the Robert Koch Institute apply as a guideline. The health office maintains close contact by telephone with all concerned,” says Weckler.
For three weeks, personal appointments in the district administration have only been possible in urgent cases and only by appointment. “We have many central areas in the district administration whose functioning is extremely important. That is why employees work more from home than ever,” explains Weckler. With a so-called token, they could access the district administration systems, for example in the area of social assistance, where it comes to providing benefits. One tries to help as unbureaucratically as possible, for example by extending approval periods.
A lot of work has also been relocated to the home office in the area of family support. “Nevertheless, we meet regularly because there are new guidelines for emergency care by the state almost every week, all of course in compliance with the protection recommendations,” reports department head Andrea Rosenberger. Almost 300 children are currently being looked after in the emergency care in the district.
Weckler reports that the specialist service is currently struggling with a flood of applications. This is about certificates and help for the Corona crisis. The finance specialist in the district administration was responsible for handling all payment transactions. “The budget is around 480 million euros. There should be no delay in payment, because whether service providers, service recipients or employees, everyone is dependent on the timely transfer of their money,” says Weckler.
The regulatory law specialist service had also changed. The Immigration Office of the Wetteraukreis had converted all customer traffic to digital and postal traffic. “Nobody is disadvantaged by this,” emphasizes the Wetterau district administrator.
The vehicle registration only has an emergency service. Car dealerships and registration services are now doing much of the registration business. Those who are urgently dependent on the registration of their vehicle and cannot rely on external service providers can make an appointment by phone. Meanwhile, many applications for funding were received by the agricultural service. “Personal advice is now taking place on the phone instead of in the office,” reports service manager Hermann Gotz.
District Administrator Weckler keeps in touch with the mayor by phone. At a conference call last week, the issues of corona, issues related to local authority supervision and support from business development were on the agenda. “We exchanged a good hour and clarified many questions,” reports Weckler.