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Bars to remain closed in Nye, Clark, Elko, Washoe

Bars, pubs, taverns and wineries will remain closed in Nye, Clark, Elko and Washoe counties as Gov. Steve Sisolak announced a transition to a long-term mitigation strategy in the fight against COVID-19.

Sisolak said the strategy will included updated criteria to more cleanly follow overall trends and minimize the week-to-week or day-to-day fluctuations for counties that will show which counties are getting progressively better or worse. Increased enforcement of mitigation efforts also will be a part of the strategy, which Sisolak said are critical to help reduce the spread of the virus.

But of immediate concern was the status of the state’s reopening, and Sisolak said some counties have made enough progress to return to the partial reopening policies of Phase 2.

“Two weeks ago, we established the elevated risk transmission criteria for counties, looking at three key statistics: the average number of tests per day, the case rate and the test positivity rate,” Sisolak said. “We looked at these figures over a two-week time period and controlled the criteria for population size.

“Seven counties that met two or more of the criteria were considered at risk and needed to take the additional mitigation efforts of closing bars, pubs, taverns and wineries to slow the spread of COVID-19.”

The governor on Monday had good news for some of those counties.

“Based on our two-week review of the data, the list has shrunk to four counties: Clark, Elko, Nye and Washoe,” he said. “Humboldt, Lander and Lyon county have shown enough improvement on the existing criteria to return to the statewide standards – meaning pubs, bars and taverns can reopen at 50 percent capacity while maintaining social distancing and mandatory face coverings. This goes into effect immediately.”

Earlier this month Sisolak shuttered bars across seven counties under the confines of three measurable criteria: average number of tests per day, the case rate and the test positivity rate. At the time of the initial closing of bars in these counties, Nye was the only county that met all three of the criteria to be shuttered, with Clark, Elko, Humboldt, Lander, Lyon and Washoe counties meeting two of the criteria for closure at that time.

COVID-19 numbers for Nye County

According to data from Nevada Health Response’s online COVID-19 tracker on Tuesday, Nye County had the second highest positivity rate, 11.1%, for the cumulative totals of testing for the virus. Nye is just under Clark County’s 11.4% positivity rate.

As of Tuesday, 2,802 people in Nye County had been tested with 3,905 tests being performed. The total population in Nye being tracked by the Nevada Health Response is 48,464.

Comparably, Clark County has seen 449,771 tests with 338,445 people being tested. Clark also has the bulk of the state’s 44,936 cases, with 38,534 people testing positive as of Tuesday.

The cumulative positivity rate in the state sat at 10% as of Tuesday with 759 fatalities, an increase of 20 over Monday, logged by the Nevada Health Response. Current hospitalizations on Tuesday were 1,147 confirmed (932) and suspected (215) cases.

Nye County has had seven fatalities due to COVID-19, according to state data. The cumulative total for cases in Nye was 310 as of Tuesday with 58 being inmates (cumulative total) in facilities within the county.

Broken down by town, Pahrump has seen a cumulative total of 273 positives on Tuesday, an increase of 176 since July 1. Tonopah has seen a total of 14 positives, with Amargosa Valley at 13, Beatty at seven and Smoky Valley with two.

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