State closing nearly all offices to the public because of virus threat | NevadaAppeal.com
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State closing nearly all offices to the public because of virus threat

The public entrances to nearly all state agencies have been closed and locked to keep the public out because of the threat of the coronavirus.

A majority of state workers remained on the job but behind closed doors. A number of agencies were telling people to work from home if possible.

In the Capitol, all constitutional offices are closed to the public as is the building itself.

DMV initially remained open for appointments but shut down Wednesday to all public entry. Officials there posted a list of common transactions that can be performed online, without visiting a DMV office. It is at dmvnv.com.

Job Connect also closed its centers Wednesday.

Medicaid, Child Health Insurance and other offices that deal directly with public clients were initially open this week. But a phone call to the Medicaid customer service center on Wednesday was answered by a recording saying the office is closed because of the virus.

A spokesman said the Division of Welfare and Supportive Services offices were still open as of Wednesday afternoon. But she said they are encouraging people not to come in person as the division transitions to online and phone services in the next few days.

The Supreme Court building was closed Wednesday afternoon. Deliveries, case filings and visitors with business in the building will be escorted to the appropriate office by Supreme Court marshals. To notify marshals you need access, call 684-1634.

Most staff remained at their desks in the Legislature but all public meetings in the building were cancelled last week until the end of March.

The Carson City courthouse was open for business, including the district and JP clerk’s offices. But Saturday marriage licensing was cancelled for now.

On advice from the Supreme Court, the First Judicial District in Carson City issued an administrative order suspending criminal and civil jury trials. Judges Todd Russell and Jim Wilson and JP Kristin Luis 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 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 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 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 announced a new Twitter account (@NVHealthRespon1) to provide up-to-date information on the virus.