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Henderson City Council discusses coronavirus response

Posted at 2:25 PM, Apr 07, 2020
and last updated 2020-04-07 19:13:05-04

HENDERSON (KTNV) — Henderson City Council voted unanimously on Tuesday to ratify emergency powers given to Mayor Debra March assuring the city's Emergency Operations Center can continue to combat the effects of the coronavius.

"These decisions must be made in order to provide the highest level of protection possible for our community," March said in advance of the vote.

The operations center, headed by District Chief of Emergency Management Ryan Turner, was activated on March 15 to mitigate the effects of the pandemic in Henderson.

"We've been training," Tuner said, "we've been exercising for this moment."

Turner said Henderson is one of the few cities in the country with an Emergency Operations Center accredited by the National Emergency Accreditation Program designed to prepare municipalities for any disaster scenario.

"There definitely is a difference with this one. As the president likes to say, it's the invisible enemy," he said.

In his report to council, Tuner said the EOC members have been busy since their activation.

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He said the group has ordered 800,000 pieces of personal protective equipment (PPE) for first responders; provided child care for 500 kids who are out of school; opened a COVID-19 information line at (702)267-INFO answering 150 calls a day; secured funding for programs; delivered thousands of meals to people in need; and activated the Long Term Recovery Team to bring all of the groups together.

"I'm just so proud of everybody's work," Turner said.

That work will continue to meet the need with a fresh set of priorities.

Turner said they would focus on protecting their workers, minimizing the strain on hospitals, and securing coronavius test kits until the crisis is over.

"Our plan right now is to open City Hall and city facilities on May 4 unless the Governor decides to extend (the shutdown)," he said.

Turner said the public can best help by continuing to practice social distancing to slow the disease's spread.

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