DELANO, Calif. (KGET) — The Delano Police Department is no longer responding to non-emergency calls in person due to the rise of COVID-19 cases, the department announced in a news release on Wednesday. The department will take the reports by phone.

The department made the announcement on its Facebook page and said the changes will take place immediately and remain in effect until March 1.

“The purpose is to ensure the health and safety of our community and Department employees,” Delano PD said.

Officers will only respond in person to a life-threatening situation or if a crime is in progress, according to Delano PD. Non-emergency calls will be handled by an officer or community service officer. Dispatchers will determine the appropriate response for each call through a caller screening process.

Delano police said the front lobby of its headquarters will be closed to members of the public. The department is postponing participation in all community events until further notice.

Residents are asked to call the non-emergency phone line at 661-721-3377 for non-emergencies or general inquiries, according to DPD.