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Nevada and Colorado join states’ pact to fight virus

Gov. Steve Sisolak and Colorado Gov. Jared Polis announced Monday their states are joining California, Oregon and Washington in the Western States Pact, a working group of Western state governors with a shared vision for modifying stay at home and fighting COVID-19.

“I’m honored to have the state of Nevada join the Western States Pact and believe the sharing of critical information and best practices on how to mitigate the spread, protect the health and safety of our residents, and reopen responsibly will be invaluable as we chart our paths forward,” Sisolak said. “Millions of visitors from our fellow Western states travel to Nevada every year as a premier tourism destination, and this partnership will be vital to our immediate recovery and long-term economic comeback.”

“Coloradans are working together to slow the spread of COVID-19 and have important information to share with and to gain from other states. I’m thrilled Colorado is joining the Western States Pact,” Polis said. “There’s no silver bullet that will solve this pandemic until there is a cure, so we must have a multifaceted and bold approach in order to slow the spread of the virus, to keep our people safe and help our economy rebound.”

Governors Gavin Newsom of California, Kate Brown of Oregon and Jay Inslee of Washington recently announced they would be working together under a shared vision for gradually modifying their states’ stay-at-home orders and fighting COVID-19. They listed three shared principles as foundational to the agreement:

Residents’ health comes first. As home to nearly one in five Americans and gateway to the rest of the world, the West Coast has an outsized stake in controlling and ultimately defeating COVID-19.

Health outcomes and science, not politics, will guide these decisions. Modifications to our states’ stay-at-home orders must be made based off our understanding of the total health impacts of COVID-19, including the direct impact of the disease on our communities, the health impact of measures introduced to control the spread in communities and our health care systems’ ability to ensure care for those who might become sick with COVID-19 and other conditions. We need to see a decline in the rate of spread of the virus before large-scale reopening, and we will be working in coordination to identify the best metrics to guide this.

Our states will be effective only by working together. Each state will work with its local leaders and communities within its borders to understand what’s happening on the ground and adhere to our agreed-upon approach.

As part of the Western States Pact, the governors commit to working together toward protecting vulnerable populations at risk for severe disease if infected, ensuring an ability to care for those who might become sick with COVID-19 and other conditions, mitigating the nondirect COVID-19 health impacts and protecting the general public by ensuring any successful lifting of interventions includes the development of a system for testing, tracking and isolating.

The states will work together to share best practices.

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