Lack of testing fingered as county is flagged for elevated risk of transmission of COVID-19.

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Robert Perea, The Fernley Reporter

A lack of testing and a high positivity rate has resulted in Lyon County being listed among the counties as having an elevated risk of transmission of COVID-19 by the state’s COVID-19 Mitigation and Management Task Force.

Lyon County Manager Jeff Page, along with County Commission Chairperson Vida Keller, Public Health Officer Robin Titus, MD, South Lyon Medical Center, Carson City Health and Human Services, the City of Fernley and the City of Yerington were notified of that designation during a meeting with the task force Thursday.

At that meeting, Lyon County was informed that it lagged in 2 of the 3 criteria adopted by the State of Nevada.

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A county is flagged for elevated disease transmission if it meets two of three criteria: an average number of tests per day of less than 150 per 100,000 of population, a case rate of more than 200 per 100,000 and a case rate of greater than 50 with a test positivity rate of greater than 7 percent.

Lyon County was included on the list because its average number of tests per day is only 67.9 per 100,000, and because its positive test rate is 7.4.

With a rate of 106.9 cases per day, Lyon County is well below the second criteria of a rate.

To be removed from the list, Lyon County would need to increase its testing rate to at least 150 tests per day per 100,000, with enough of those tests being negative to reduce the test positivity rate below 7 percent.

Lyon County was requested to prepare and submit a Jurisdictional Assessment and Action Plan to the Task Force on or before 5 p.m. Sept. 2.

No additional restrictions have been placed on Lyon County or the two cities. A continued elevation of risk could result in stronger restrictions.

Lyon County manager Jeff Page said the County strongly urges the public and businesses to follow the established protocols 

Page said Lyon County has already taken action to cancel events on county properties that would have 50 or more people as well as implemented policies to protect employees and the public.

“Lyon County anticipates that our citizens and visitors are taking proper procedures to reduce the transmission of COVID-19,” Page said. “Lyon County’s first choice is to inform its citizens of state requirements and take enforcement action only when all other options have failed.”

Lyon County is a partner with the Quad County (Carson, Douglas, Lyon And Storey) Health Care Coalition. The Quad County is coordinating and collaborating with Carson City Health and Human Services to conduct testing, tracing and supporting the communities through this pandemic. Up-to-date information on the response and recovery to the pandemic is available at  https://gethealthycarsoncity.org/novel-coronavirus-2019/ .

Page said Lyon County staff and its partners will be working to complete the assessment and action plan for the Task Forces review next week and will continue to work with the State to reduce the impacts of the pandemic.

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