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Patrol deputy, detention center staff member tests positive for COVID-19

UPDATE: A second detention center employee was reported as being positive for COVID-19 on Tuesday by the Nye County Sheriff's Office. The Nye County Sheriff's Office also reported on Tuesday that the positive result for a patrol deputy on Monday was changed to inconclusive. The deputy is going in for retesting.

A Nye County Sheriff’s Office patrol deputy and a detention center staff member have tested positive for the COVID-19 virus.

As stated in a video news release on Monday, April 20, Captain David Boruchowitz, donning a face mask himself, said over the past 30 days, Sheriff Sharon Wehrly has implemented numerous procedures in an effort to reduce the risk to staff of contracting the virus.

“At this point, with a positive confirmation in the detention center and a positive confirmation in our patrol staff, additional measures are being implemented to ensure that our staff are able to continue to serve and protect you, the community,” he said. “All deputies as they are interacting with the public will be utilizing masks.”

Boruchowitz also noted that staff schedules have also been adjusted to minimize exposure to each other, while reducing the risk of spreading the virus among the department.

“When your law enforcement becomes compromised by COVID-19, that inhibits our ability to serve you, and compromises our ability to do so safely,” he said. “We will continue to update you on changes as they occur.”

The Pahrump Valley Times reached out to the sheriff’s office on Friday and asked when testing would begin and if they knew how long it could take.

In an email response on Friday, Boruchowitz said, “Some staff being tested as speak. As to how long beyond. No. Hoping beginning of the week, but don’t know for sure.”

On Saturday, April 18, the sheriff’s office received confirmation that at least one Nye County Detention Center staff member tested positive for the virus.

As a result, all Nye County jails were immediately placed on lockdown, according to Boruchowitz.

“Staff schedules have been adjusted to avoid further contamination within the Nye County Sheriff’s Office, and their families,” he said. “All staff and inmates will be tested and families of staff members are encouraged to test as well. These precautions are being taken in the interest of minimizing exposure to NCSO staff, inmates and the community.”

The number of cases in Pahrump have more than tripled since mid-April in Pahrump.

As of Tuesday April 21, county officials noted that of the 630 tests reported to the county, three COVID-19 positives were misreported. As of Tuesday, the total in the county now stands at 29, with 23 in Pahrump, four in Tonopah, and one each in Amargosa Valley and Beatty.

Two people have been reported as recovered by the state, one in Beatty and one in Pahrump, according to the county.

Thus far, no deaths related to the virus have been reported in Nye County.

The COVID-19 outbreak has been spreading across Nevada for the last several weeks. The number of positive cases in the state, at the time of this writing, is 3,937. The number of deaths in the state is 163, according to the data.

For more information, head to tinyurl.com/r9q9d46

For the latest information on the virus, call the COVID-19 information help line at 775 751-4333, or logon to http://nyecounty.net/

Contact reporter Selwyn Harris at sharris@pvtimes.com. On Twitter: @pvtimes

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