Lyon County declares state of emergency |

Lyon County declares state of emergency

By Jessica Garcia

The Lyon County Board of Commissioners declared a state of emergency Monday resulting from the threat to public health and safety from the COVID-19 virus.

The vote authorizes the board to close the local senior centers and provide senior meals by delivery or drive-by meal pick-up, close county libraries on a short-term basis, reduce non-mandated services, freeze hiring and non-essential expenses, offer paid administrative leave for displaced employees and address processes on gatherings or board meetings.

The commission also canceled remaining Citizen Advisory Board meetings through April 30, directed the closure of the Dayton, Stagecoach, Silver Springs and Smith Valley community centers to public functions through April 6 and suspended events at the Lyon County Fairgrounds and Dayton Valley Event Center through April 6.

The declaration was made one day after Gov. Steve Sisolak announced a mandate on hiring freezes, an emergency resolution for paid leave for state employees, the closure of state offices and the closure of all schools until at least April 6.

Staff will implement procedures to enforce the declaration, according to county manager Jeff Page, and will announce steps about the closure of its senior centers and libraries.

On Tuesday, the county’s human services director Shayla Holmes announced the department reduced its administrative staffing and will be offering limited services by phone. Those in need of more information can contact their local office in Dayton at 775-246-6326, Fernley at 775-575-1844 or in Silver Springs or Yerington at 775-577-5008.

The county’s four senior centers also have closed until further notice for meals and socialization, according to Holmes, although a drive-through takeout option is available to prevent foodborne illness. For more information on this option at the following locations, call Dayton at 775-246-6120, Fernley at 775-575-3370, Silver Springs at 775-577-5014 or Yerington at 775-463-6550.

Commissioner Bob Hastings of District 1 said before the vote Monday it was a necessary step.

“I absolutely hate that we have to do this, but it is what it is,” he said. “We’ve got to protect our citizens.”

Board members also received an update from Third Judicial District Court Judge John Schlegelmilch about a mandate limiting court activities and uncontested court appearances in which certain access would be prohibited. More information would be forthcoming to the commission, he said.

Commissioner Ken Gray, representing District 3, speaking after the meeting Monday, said residents have expressed concerns about COVID-19.

“They need to maintain their calm, their cool and to make sure they’re helping each other as much as possible,” Gray said. “I’ve asked people not to hoard stuff and to think about the elderly who have a harder time and those are more susceptible to it not to go out in public.”

He said it was important for officials and neighbors to be as responsive to others’ needs as Lyon relies on its consolidated tax revenues during these times when non-essential businesses might face closures.

“We’re taking a very calculated and measured approach,” he said. “Our goal is to protect the citizens of our county and to make sure we have adequate resources to respond to this emergency situation.”