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Nye County Sheriff’s Office responds to face mask mandate

Updated July 2, 2020 - 7:19 pm

The Nye County Sheriff’s Office responded to Gov. Steve Sisolak’s mandate on face masks in public spaces on Friday, the day the order went into effect. Sisolak held a press conference on Wednesday, June 24 to announce the mandate.

“The mandate focuses on Nevada businesses, and therefore Nye County businesses, to enforce that mandate,” the sheriff’s office said in a video statement on YouTube. “In Section 9, the governor has placed law enforcement sanctions to enforce his mandatory face mask directive. However, the implementation of that sanction includes a warning prior to taking any law enforcement action, which means that the Nye County Sheriff’s Office and staff will treat this directive in the same manner, and the same response given, during the nonessential business closure.”

Some exceptions include those with medical conditions that make it difficult to breathe, those with a disability that prevent them from wearing a face covering and some children. Children ages two to nine are encouraged to wear a face mask, while children under the age of two should avoid wearing a face mask due to the risk of suffocation, according to information on the Nevada Health Response’s website.

The sheriff’s office said the “primary enforcement agencies for the mandate include local licensing agencies and (Nevada) OSHA.”

Under Sisolak’s order during the nonessential business closure, the sheriff’s office did enforce the order.

In a video release in mid-March on the nonessential business closure, Nye County Sheriff Sharon Wehrly said, “NRS202.595 makes it a gross misdemeanor or felony to perform any act or neglect any duty imposed by law. The governor has made it clear that you have a duty, imposed by law, under his emergency declaration. Nye County deputies will be taking enforcement action in accordance with his emergency declaration made March 20.”

That order went into effect on March 21, which lifted after Nevada entered Phase 1 of its reopening a the end of May and Phase 2 in June. Some businesses still haven’t returned under Phase 2.

There is also enforcement capability by local jurisdictions in the order.

According to Section 10 of the governor’s order also authorizes “all local, city, and county governments, and state agencies to enforce this directive and regulations promulgated thereunder, including but not limited to, suspending licenses, revoking licenses, or issuing penalties for violating business, professional, liquor, tobacco, or gaming licenses issued by the local jurisdiction for actions that jeopardize the health, safety, or welfare of the public; conduct which may injuriously affect the public health, safety, or welfare; conduct that may be detrimental to the public peace, health, or morals; or any other applicable ordinance or requirement for such a license.”

In July, the state set up a hotline for people to call to report non-compliant businesses. The hotline numbers are 702-486-9020 for Southern Nevada and 775-688-3700 for Northern Nevada.

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