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Courts close, cancel hearings after employee tests positive for COVID-19

A staff member within the Fifth Judicial District Court system has tested positive for the novel coronavirus COVID-19, prompting that court to issue an order of closure and cancel all hearings for the next 10 days.

“An employee of the Fifth Judicial District Court, Department 1, has tested positive for COVID-19 and all employees of the court have been exposed to the virus,” an administrative order, signed on Monday, April 20 by Judge Kimberly Wanker, states. “Therefore, Department 1, including Pahrump adult drug court, is closed effective immediately, through April 30, 2020. During the closure, the court will continue to monitor the situation. All court hearings are canceled through April 30, 2020.”

A duplicate of this order was also signed off on by Judge Robert Lane for Department 2.

For information on nonemergency court case matters, residents should refer to district court’s previous administrative orders, issued March 17 and April 17. These orders outline the general provisions that district court has been following throughout the last month. These can be reviewed online at www.nyecounty.net or requested via email at gclifford@co.nye.nv.us or by calling 775-751-4210. For emergency matters call Gerie Clifford at 775-482-4210.

The district court order notes that all drug court participants will be required to check in by text, email or phone on a daily basis.

It’s not just the district court that is closing down operations, either. Both the Fifth Judicial District Court and the Pahrump Justice Court operate out of the same courthouse and therefore, staffers from both courts are often in close proximity with one another, creating a potential exposure for anyone working in either court.

“Due to potential COVID-19 exposure, the Pahrump Justice Court is taking precautionary measures and closing for 14 days. This situation will be monitored, however, at this point, we plan to reopen for regular business on Monday, May 4, 2020 at 8 a.m.,” a notice from the justice court reads.

Anyone who needs to contact Pahrump Justice Court at this time is directed to email pjc@pahrumpjusticecourt.com

Those who need to file a temporary protective order can complete the form found online at www.pahrumpjusticecourt.com and submit it to the aforementioned email. If residents are unable to access the form online they can obtain one from the Nye County Sheriff’s Office main lobby, 1521 E. Siri Lane, behind the courthouse.

“All temporary protective order applicants must include a current phone number and mailing address on each application submitted to the court so that we can contact you once the application has been reviewed,” justice court administrative order No. 2 states.

According to data provided by Nye County, approximately 635 tests have been conducted in the county. There are currently a total of 29 cases of COVID-19 in Nye, 23 of which are in Pahrump. Four of the total county cases are in Tonopah and the communities of Amargosa and Beatty have each seen one positive test result. Two of the 29 persons infected with COVID-19 have been listed as recovered and no deaths have been reported.

More information can be found on the county’s website www.nyecounty.net or by calling the count’s COVID-19 information help line at 775-751-4333.

Contact reporter Robin Hebrock at rhebrock@pvtimes.com

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