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Nye flagged for COVID, certain county and town offices temporarily closed

With COVID-19 infections again on the rise, Nye County has been flagged by the state of Nevada’s COVID-19 Mitigation and Management Task Force for four straight weeks and the local situation is set to be reviewed once more during the state task force’s next meeting, scheduled for tomorrow, Nov. 19 at 10 a.m.

In addition, in response to the Nevada Gov. Steve Sisolak’s “Stay at Home 2.0” initiative, operations within certain offices in both the county and the town of Pahrump have been adjusted, allowing staffers to work from home over the next two weeks.

“Nye County had a large influx of cases on Nov. 5 and it is too early to tell if the trend will go downward from there or continue to rise,” a press release from the state’s task force regarding the county’s flagged status states, noting that there had been both a detention center and skilled nursing home spike. “Nye County is working on creating additional public messaging surrounding the upcoming holidays…”

At the state task force’s last meeting, held Thursday, Nov. 12, Nye County submitted and had approved its action plan, which outlines the measures being taken to combat the rising case numbers and the efforts being pushed forward to increase testing.

Through contact tracing, the action plan details that Nye County’s primary sources of new COVID-19 cases are the Tonopah Testing Range, Nye County School District facilities, religious institutions, the Nevada Southern Detention Center and family gatherings. The action plan notes that liquor establishments such as bars, taverns and wineries, have been fully reopened for three months and no cases have been attributed to any of these establishments.

On testing, the action plan acknowledges that Nye County continues to be “in the red” for average number of tests completed per population but there are plans to address this. The action plan states that Nye County’s testing numbers have been lower than desired because the county has opted not to utilize shallow swab testing, which has been unreliable. That could all change in the near future, however, with the action plan stating, “Nye County was recently contacted by her state legislators who are trying to secure newer, high-reliability, rapid response tests that provide results within minutes. These tests are being touted as 97% reliable.”

To view the entire action plan as approved visit www.nvhealthresponse.gov and click on the “COVID Task Force Assessments” link under the “News and Resources” tab.

Nye County is among nine Nevada counties that are on the agenda for a situation review at the state task force’s Nov. 19 meeting. This meeting can be viewed live online through the Nevada Health Response YouTube channel.

The meeting can also be joined via teleconference by calling 669-900-9128 and using meeting ID 820 3284 9309#. When prompted for a participant ID, callers should press the # key.

As to the recent changes in county and town operations, several offices have been closed to the public and the employees are currently working from home.

“Some county offices and town of Pahrump have adjusted operations to work remotely until Nov. 30 due to the increasing COVID case numbers and the governor’s ‘Stay at Home 2.0’ guidance,” Nye County Public Information Officer Arnold Knightly detailed in a news release late last week. Listed offices included county administration, the Human Resources department, county planning department, building and safety, the county assessor’s office and the town of Pahrump administration, fire and tourism offices.

For administration, those needing to make renewal payments for their privilege licenses, including gaming, brothel and liquor licenses, or town of Pahrump business licenses, can do so by dropping payments into the slot on the west side of the administration building in Pahrump, located at 2100 E. Walt Williams Drive, or mailing them in directly to the Pahrump administration office or Tonopah office at P.O. Box 153, Tonopah, NV, 89049. Those seeking new privilege licenses or town business licenses can access packets and general information online at www.nyecounty.net and submit them either in the drop by or by mail. For more information regarding county privilege licenses email licensing@co.nye.nv.us and for more on town business licenses email townoffice@pahrumpnv.org

Town of Pahrump facility rentals have also been put on hold until further notice, with refunds to be issued to all those whose bookings have been canceled.

For inquiries about cemetery services in Tonopah email nyeadmin@co.nye.nv.us

For inquiries about cemetery services in Pahrump email townoffice@pahrumpnv.org

Nye County Human Resources can be reached at DL_HumanResources@co.nye.nv.us or by leaving a voicemail at 775-751-6301, 775-751-6302 or 775-482-7242. Anyone with questions regarding payroll is asked to call 775-751-6304. Applications can be submitted to the Human Resources department at the aforementioned email address or dropped off or mailed to the Tonopah or Pahrump offices.

Nye County Planning and the building and safety department will also be working remotely, with applications accessible online at www.nyecounty.net

“All (planning) applications can be submitted electronically by emailing to Planning@co.nye.nv.us,” a county news release reads. “Please include your email address and contact phone number on your application so that a staff member may contact you for payment over the phone. Submit hard copy applications by utilizing the drop boxes located outside of planning. Please place any payments for applications in the drop box mounted on the wall.” Nye County Planning is located at 250 N. Highway 160, Suite 1, in Pahrump. The department can also be reached at 775-751-4249.

For building and safety, applications can be submitted to KMcnary@co.nye.nv.us or VRBritton@co.nye.nv.us or by dropping them off in the drop box at 250 N. Highway 160, Suite 3. For more information on building and safety call 775-751-3773.

The Nye County Assessor’s Office has a drop box available for the community as well, at 160 N. Floyd Drive in Pahrump and 101 Radar Road in Tonopah. The assessor’s office can also be reached at 775-751-7060 or 775-482-8174 or by emailing assessor@co.nye.nv.us

The Pahrump Valley Fire and Rescue offices are closed to the public until at least Nov. 30 and those with fire reports or other general questions can call 775-727-2832 or email jfanning@pahrumpnv.org

Finally, the Pahrump Tourism Department is working remotely but can be reached at 775-253-1697.

The county also returned to a teleconference model for its last Nye County Commission meeting, held Monday, Nov. 16, with members of the public barred from participating in person in an effort to reduce the risk of spreading COVID-19.

According to the latest update on local case numbers, as of Tuesday, Nov. 17 there were 1,070 reported positives in Nye County, 970 of which were in Pahrump.

Nye County has established a COVID-19 information hub, which includes information on testing resources and much more, that can be accessed at www.nyecounty.net by clicking on the link in the bottom left-hand corner of the page.

Contact reporter Robin Hebrock at rhebrock@pvtimes.com

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