Unemployment office’s sudden closure confuses people filing for unemployment in Calif.


People filing for unemployment confused when unemployment office closes in Calif.

SACRAMENTO, Calif. (KCRA/CNN) - Customers were stunned Tuesday by the sudden closing of the unemployment office.

It caught nurse Linda Rice by surprise.

“I came here to pick up my papers, because if I go out on disability, I cannot do a password reset online. The online process has failed to send me a password reset email message,” she said.

Linda Rice will have to file any future claims online, and so will trucker Ugendra Singh, who drives to the Port of Oakland, where his trips have been reduced from five a week down to two.

“The booking is slow because the ships are not coming from China. It’s slow so the bookings are no more,” Singh said.

The closing comes just as Nordstrom announced Tuesday it is sending its employees home along with Macy’s for at least the next two weeks.

An official said the surprise shutdown was to protect public health “because we want to protect, of course everybody in the community, but in addition our staff - and so for those purposes we’ve closed down public counters in our offices.”

The Employment Development Department isn’t the only government office shut down Tuesday.

The Social Security Administration is also closed to the public.

“I was shocked. I was like, ‘This is actually happening.’ I was like, ‘Wow - we really got to take things serious now. This is scary,’” one resident said.

The Department of Motor Vehicles was still open Tuesday, but the DMV is practicing social distancing by limiting the number of people inside, creating some lines outside.

The agency also announced that customers can avoid coming to a DMV office for the next 60 days if they’re concerned about the virus.

“I think that’s reasonable. I think that’s understanding. They also opened up a lot of online services too, which was good and accommodating as well,” one resident said.

Law enforcement has been asked to use discretion before citing anyone with expired tags or drivers licenses.

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