Offices closing throughout Carson City due to coronavirus threat
Just before noon, state officials were ordered to shut and lock the doors of most state agencies to keep the public out.
A majority of state workers remained at work Monday morning but a number of agencies were telling people to go home after lunch.
In some agencies including the Legislative Counsel Bureau, workers with laptops and the ability to work from home chose to do so but, again, many were still at their desks.
In the Capitol itself, only the Secretary of State’s office was closed in the morning but other constitutional offices were planning to shut down in the afternoon.
Other agencies such as DMV and offices that deal with Medicaid and other clients remained open to the public, but with precautions in place. They were told the frequently clean and sanitize desks, pens, equipment such as driving vision test devices and other surfaces that come in contact with the public.
DMV is accepting only those people with appointments for renewals etc. Walk-ins are not permitted and the number of people in a DMV office will be limited at any one time. Officials there posted a list of common transactions that can be performed online without visiting a DMV office. It is at dmvnv.com.
The Supreme Court was open for business including the clerk’s office despite the virus. But beginning just after noon, the Marshal’s office was screening people entering from the Stewart Street side of the building. The other entrances were locked.
The Legislature was still open as of Monday afternoon but all public meetings in the building were cancelled last week until pretty much the end of March.
The Carson City courthouse was open for business Monday, including the clerk’s office. But Clerk Recorder Aubrey Rowlatt said Saturday marriage licensing was cancelled for now.
On advice from the Supreme Court, The First Judicial District in Carson City issued an administrative order Monday afternoon suspending both criminal and civil jury trials. Judges Todd Russell and Jim Wilson said they will be identifying non-essential court cases that can be rescheduled or heard by video/teleconference.
The order, they said, will remain in effect for at least 30 days but may be further extended if necessary.
The clerk’s offices, the order says, will continue to accept filings and operate normal work hours.
Finally, they ordered that security will bar anyone who is ill from entering the courthouse along with those who have been in a long list of foreign countries in the past two weeks.
“Everything is fine right now,” said Carson Sheriff Ken Furlong when asked about his department. He said deputies are limiting contact with the public as much as they can.
“We’re not going to shut down. We can’t shut down. We’re trying to prevent panic.”
Like Furlong’s staff, public safety and other critical workers can’t close up shop.
Gov. Steve Sisolak charged two appointees at his newly created Nevada Health Response Center to keep the public informed about the COVID-19, coronavirus situation. Meghin Delaney was named to coordinate all communications about the virus, bringing together information from state, local and other health partners. He said James Humm, a veteran in the communications/government affairs field, to assist her.
They also announced a new Twitter account (@NVHealthRespon1) to provide up-to-date information on the virus.