Lyon County Commissioners officially approved the county’s newest health order during a regularly-scheduled action session Thursday.
Referencing their encouragement by the area’s current COVID-19 situation — which included 20 active cases as of Thursday afternoon according to information provided by Lyon County Public Health — commissioners said they didn’t see much reason for “altering what was already working.” Set to run through Sept. 18 after going into effect at midnight Friday, the new order does not mandate masks but “highly encourages” them in situations where proper social distancing cannot be maintained.
Guidelines regarding mass gatherings remain unchanged — with the limit still set at 45 people — as does language providing recommendations on travel, high-risk individuals, proper business protocols and promoting the safety of individuals currently residing in nursing homes or other long-term care facilities. A full copy of the order will soon be available on the county’s website at lyoncounty.org/index.
“I think we’ve in some way developed a plan that fits [the situation] and a plan that the people of Lyon County want,” said Commissioner Rollie Martin. “They want to have their own individual rights to wear a mask or not wear a mask and have the responsibility as an individual to move this community forward, move [cases] back down and to hopefully make it so schools can open in the fall. That means wearing a mask when there’s no opportunity [for social distancing], wherever that may be.”
“We have to be very careful about overwhelming [Public Health’s] systems,” agreed Commissioner Scott Briggs. “Our numbers are great right now and I think the reason for that is about what the people have been doing. Of course there’s going to be exceptions to that. When you talk about the word ‘universal’ that means any and everybody has to wear a mask … I support the theory of universal masking, but I don’t know how that would be able to be enforced. That’s the main concern.”
“[COVID-19] is a scary deal, and it’s not something that’s going to go away immediately,” Commissioner Dan Slater added. “We’re going to have to watch it every week, especially if the numbers start going through the roof like they’ve done in Arizona and some other places. There’s a chance that maybe we’ll have to come back to it, and maybe it’s something we can look at each meeting moving forward.”
Lyon County Attorney Marc Goodman agreed that it was highly possible the order would be restructured in some way during the course of its lifetime. He encouraged commissioners to see the order as a “living document” and keep updated on the latest information and recommendations from health agencies in order to promote the safest possible environment for county residents.
“A special meeting can be called at any time should the trends and tendencies reflect that the commission needs to change this order,” Goodman said. “That can be done with minimal notice. So, saying Sept. 18 [as a deadline] is not so set in stone.”
During the meeting, the Lyon County Commission also:
• Approved a contract for administrative services between Lyon County and Western Consultants for the 2020 Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act
• Tabled the purchase of ProQA Emergency Medical and Emergency Fire
Dispatch online protocols in the amount of $154,961.48. The matter will be discussed again on July 16.