74°F
weather icon Mostly Cloudy

Sisolak gives framework for reopening Nevada

Gov. Steve Sisolak announced Tuesday the framework the state will use as it plans to roll back restrictions and reopen.

“Before we get to the first phase of our reopening plan, we must make sure we meet criteria set out by the federal government and our team of Nevada experts,” Sisolak said. “We are actively monitoring the criteria now, and once we have cleared this stage, we can begin the the first phase of getting back to business in Nevada.”

To determine whether the state is ready to move into the first phase of reopening, the governor and Nevada experts will look for a consistent and sustainable downward trajectory of COVID-19 cases and hospitalizations over a 14-day period. That will be measured by a decrease in the trend of COVID-19 hospitalizations and a decline in the percentage of people testing positive.

Also, Sisolak said that health care and public health systems should be able to maintain hospital capacity without crisis standards of care, have a sufficient public health workforce capacity between the local and state health departments to conduct case contact tracing (detect, test, trace, isolate), have the expanded ability for health care providers to administer tests for symptomatic patients and have sufficient laboratory testing capacity to process COVID-19 testing samples.

There also must be a sustained ability to protect vulnerable populations, meaning that outbreaks are successfully contained and closed in special settings such as health facilities and nursing homes, he said. Finally, the state must confirm protective measures are in place before moving to the first phase of reopening.

Sisolak acknowledged that it seemed as if it would be a long time before even the first phase of reopening could begin, but he shared an analogy that he said a lot of others had been sharing.

“Arguing that the curve is flattening and that we can immediately lift restrictions in one fell swoop is like arguing that the parachute has slowed our rate of descent so we can take it off now,” he said. “We cannot take off the parachute. Experience gleaned from other countries teaches us that we cannot flip a light switch and turn our lives and our economy back on too quickly.

“We still have a responsibility to protect people and to protect our economy.”

Sisolak said that the state is in a better spot than it was six weeks ago and, while lives of Nevadans are more valuable than profit, he understood “what the cost has been to our state, your families, your businesses and our economy.”

Saying he wanted to ensure that the economic reopening will be sustainable, and because the state is “an international tourism mecca, we have an added responsibility to get this reopening plan correct.”

The governor was pleased to say that Nevada is seeing fewer cases and deaths than were predicted by many of the models early in the outbreak, showing “social distancing and other measures are working.”

Sisolak went on to describe what Phase 1 of the reopening would look like.

“We will be able to loosen restrictions on certain activities and businesses, and the loosening of these restrictions will be done in accordance with federal guidance that’s tailored to Nevada’s specific industries, businesses and communities.”

First, in agreement with federal criteria, “all vulnerable individuals should continue to shelter in place” during Phase 1. All individuals should avoid socializing in groups of more than 10 where appropriate social distancing is impossible.

Again repeating federal recommendations, Sisolak said he and the state’s experts agree that individuals should minimize nonessential travel, and the state is currently reviewing the possibility of strengthening the guidance urging Nevadans to wear face coverings.

Sisolak went over Phase 1 recommendations for businesses as well. Under federal criteria, bars should remain closed, and the governor said he and the Nevada Medical Advisory team agreed.

Other specific situations, including gyms, elective surgery, restaurants, movie theaters, places of worship and sports venues are under review, and guidelines will be issued at an appropriate time.

Don't miss the big stories. Like us on Facebook.
THE LATEST
Supreme Court rejects California church’s challenge

Chief Justice John Roberts again was the deciding vote Friday when the U.S. Supreme Court rejected a California church’s attempt to overturn the state’s coronavirus restrictions on in-person religious services.

U.S. 95 closing for repairs in Nye, Esmeralda counties

The Nevada Department of Transportation is temporarily closing U.S. Highway 95 between the U.S. Route 6 and State Route 360 junctions from 6 a.m. June 3, through 4 p.m. June 17 in Esmeralda and Mineral counties, a closure needed for $2.43 million in federally funded emergency repairs.

Golden announces Pahrump properties will reopen June 4

Golden Entertainment, Inc., announced Friday that Pahrump Nugget Hotel & Casino, Gold Town Casino and Lakeside Casino & RV Park will reopen at 12:01 a.m. on Thursday, June 4.

Administration considers resuming nuclear testing

The Trump administration has discussed whether to conduct the first U.S. nuclear test explosion since 1992 in a move that would have far-reaching consequences for relations with other nuclear powers and reverse a decades-long moratorium on such actions, the Washington Post reported Thursday.

Fire destroys several structures, vehicles

Pahrump Valley Fire and Rescue Services crews were met with explosions and red hot embers raining down upon them as they battled a destructive multi-structure fire on Tuesday evening, May 26th.

Thousands watch Nye County GOP virtual debate

The Nye County Republican Central Committee, with the participation of the Pahrump Valley Times, hosted a GOP debate last weekend for the contenders vying for the Republican vote in the 2020 primary election, with nearly three dozen candidates joining in to tackle a variety of topics pertinent to their various offices and thousands of voters watching over two days of discourse and debate.

Striving for success, commission reduces Pahrump Fall Festival vendor fees

The Pahrump Fall Festival is, hands down, the single largest community event in the valley each year but over the past few years, it has been dwindling a bit in terms of participation by vendors offering merchandise and goodies for the thousands of people who turn out on a regular basis. With this in mind, town and county officials have made the decision to revise the vendor booth fee schedule, lowering the prices in an effort to attract more vendors and make the 2020 Fall Festival a resounding success.

Pahrump’s Movies in the Park given the go-ahead

It’s been more than two months since the last community gathering was held in Pahrump and though certain restrictions are still in place regarding the number of people allowed to congregate in public or private settings, the town is now readying for the first large-scale public event since the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic in Nevada, its annual Movies in the Park.

California Lottery

No one matched all five numbers and the mega number in the Wednesday, May 27 drawing of the California Super Lotto. The next jackpot will be at least $10 million.